Transportation

Driving Bounces Back

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The mayor of San Diego wants to spend $177 billion expanding the region’s transit system in order to make San Diego like “Barcelona, Madrid, Paris.” Meanwhile, Barcelona, Madrid, and Paris are becoming more like U.S. cities, at least in terms of the transportation habits of their residents.  read more »

COVID Work Trip Reduction Estimates: CSAs with Transit Legacy Cities

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America’s elite central business districts have symbolized the ascendency of big cities, epitomized by soaring office towers. But today, due the COVID-19 pandemic, so much office work performed in these CBDs can be done remotely, that their future seems far less towering than in the past. In contrast, less dense areas, notably exurbs, appear to have suffered less loss in their employment patterns.  read more »

The Future of Driving

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A new study from accounting firm KPMG predicts that auto travel in the United States will be 9 to 10 percent less after the pandemic than it was before. Telecommuting, says the report, will lead to a 10 to 20 percent reduction in commuting by car while on-line shopping will lead to a 10 to 30 percent reduction in shopping trips.  read more »

In Praise of Streetcar Suburbs, Defined and Illustrated

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If there is a single American development pattern or style that I love most, it is the streetcar suburb.  Bringing more of this pattern back to our cities would be a great thing.  read more »

Green Policies Won't Keep California Truckin'

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No state advertises its green credentials more than California. That these policies often hurt the economy, driving up housing costs and narrowing opportunities for working-class people while not even doing much for the environment, has not discouraged the state’s environmental overlords.  read more »

America's Long Suffering Rail Commuters

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The long, streaking commuter trains (suburban rail) carrying workers mostly into and out of downtown every day may give the impression of “rapid transit.” However, regardless of the top speeds they reach, the average suburban rail rider spends far more time traveling to work than those using other modes of getting to work (Figure 1). They spend far longer than the majority of commuters, who drive alone. Even in the New York combined statistical area (CSA), with the largest suburban rail network a majority drive to work (Figure 2).  read more »

High Speed Rail: Yesterday's Tech Tomorrow

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One of the candidates for president in this November’s election is known by the nickname, “Amtrak Joe.” The Democratic-controlled House wants to triple federal funding for intercity passenger trains.  read more »

COVID-19: Improved Ventilation Required in Crowded Enclosures

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The New York Times reported on July 4 that 239 scientists in 32 countries had signed an Open Letter to the World Health Organization (WHO) outlining “the evidence showing that smaller particles can infect people, and are calling for the agency to revise its recommendations.” The letter was published in the journal  read more »

Freeways: The Egalitarian Transportation

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In the past month or so, we’ve seen the destruction or defacement of statues of Confederate generals, the Father of our Country who was also a slaveowner, the Great Emancipationist, the  read more »

May Transit Ridership Down 81 Percent

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The nation’s transit systems carried 81 percent fewer riders in May, 2020 than in May, 2019, according to data posted yesterday by the Federal Transit Administration. This drop is almost as great as the 84 percent decline reported for April.  read more »