Afterburn

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Here in California we’ve just received our first rain since last winter after another brutal round of massive forest fires. Our Mediterranean style climate cycles from a long dry hot period to a few short cool wet winter months. October is our most fire prone time of year. It’s hot, the earth is bone dry, the vegetation is brittle, and windstorms stir up fires like a giant hair dryer. Cyclical burns are part of the ecosystem here and are normal and necessary.  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 »

Social Media is Not Promoting a Diversity of Ideas: Just Look at Our College Students

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Despite statements by Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg that he was changing the mission of his company to “bring the world closer together,” data from the recent AEI survey on Community and Society make it abundantly clear that  read more »

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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 »

Third World Countries Remain the Losers of Climate Change Activism

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For the poorest in the world there are more things that are far more important to survival than climate change. Third world countries are the big losers of today’s climate activism. Why? Because they still lack purified drinking water, sewage sanitation, adequate nutrition, reliable electricity (or any at all), adequate health care, i.e., the infrastructures and products we take for granted that are all based on deep earth minerals and fuels.  read more »

The Next Election Will Be Decided By the Suburbs

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The fate of the 2020 election, whether for Congress or the White House, will be decided in the suburbs. Neither the pro-Trump countryside nor the intensely anti-Trump urban core have enough voters to put their preferred candidates in office.

It’s the suburbs that are home to the majority of all voters and over 80 percent of residents of the major metropolitan areas.  read more »

Report: California Getting In Its Own Way

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Although Governor Gavin Newsom promised to deliver 3.5 million new housing units in eight years, California severely missed this mark: as reported by the Public Policy Institute of California, housing production actually decreased during each of the past 2 years, and in 2019 is on track to fall about 80% short of the annual mark required to build 3.5 million new homes in 8 years. At this pace, it will take 39.6 years for the Governor to achieve his 8-year goal.  read more »

Distribution of Transit Work Trips: Urban Core vs. Suburbs and Exurbs

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Transit work trip ridership is strongly concentrated in the urban cores of the nation’s 53 major metropolitan areas (over 1,000,000 population), as is indicated by City Sector Model (Note). In the two urban core categories, the Urban Core: CBD and the Urban Core: Inner Ring, the share of total transit work trips is from four to six times the share of population (Figure 1) The percentage of transit commuters in the Urban Core: CBD was six times that of its overall metropolitan population share.  read more »

Suburbia and the Black Experience

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A couple weeks ago I was privileged to be the guest speaker at a wonderful event. The Cultural Inclusion and Diversity Committee of the Village of Hanover Park, a northwest suburb of Chicago, asked me to speak on the suburban black experience. It was part of a series the committee is conducting on the various demographic groups that make up their community. I had a wonderful time and I was honored to be invited.  read more »

California High-Speed Rail Leadership and Project Direction Being Challenged

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The Assembly Transportation Committee High Speed Rail oversight hearing of Tuesday (11-12-2019) exposed a regional funding war.

The project’s leadership, Brian Kelly (CEO) and Board Chair Lenny Mendonca, are pushing the present “spend all existing funds in the Central Valley (CV) agenda”.  Governor Newsom, who “flip/flops” with his position on HSR depending on the season of the year, right now does endorse Kelly’s leadership and the present plans.  read more »