Monthly Archives: May 2011

Little Things That Matter: Stoplight Phasing

In Manhattan, most intersections have two stoplight phases: one permitting all north-south traffic, and one permitting all east-west traffic. Each phase lasts about 45 seconds, ensuring that pedestrians can cross even the widest avenues in one go with time to … Continue reading

Posted in Israel, New York, Pedestrian Observations, Urban Design, Urbanism | 8 Comments

Quick Note on High-Speed Rail and Flying

I have just come back home from my conference in Athens, GA. Total door-to-door travel time, from the hotel to my apartment: just under 8 hours. The road distance from Athens to New York is about 1,300 km, so the … Continue reading

Posted in High-Speed Rail, Transportation | 2 Comments

The Problem is the FRA, not Amtrak

House Transportation Committee Chair John Mica (R-FL) has finally come out explicitly in favor of privatizing the Northeast Corridor and letting private consortia bid for high-speed rail construction. Mica’s rationale is that Amtrak is an inefficient government provider, and its … Continue reading

Posted in Amtrak, FRA, High-Speed Rail, Incompetence, Transportation | 16 Comments

Quick Note on Air Pollution

Yesterday’s USA Today carried a story about a study from the Harvard Center for Risk Analysis coming up with a huge figure for excess mortality, 2,200 nationwide just from the extra gas consumption caused by traffic congestion. Such a figure … Continue reading

Posted in Shoddy Studies, Studies | Leave a comment

Whither BRT?

The Institute for Transport and Development Policy has joined Brookings in publishing a completely pointless transit system ranking, this time focusing on the quality of BRT, the mode of transit ITDP advocates. I want to like ITDP for its BRT … Continue reading

Posted in Shoddy Studies, Studies, Transportation, Urban Transit | 6 Comments

Brookings Folly

People who have read Brookings’ awful report saying San Jose is the second most transit-accessible city in the US and New York the thirteenth already know not to trust what Brookings says. Even at the level of collecting facts, it … Continue reading

Posted in Incompetence, Shoddy Studies, Studies, Transportation | 11 Comments

Pedestrian Observations from Athens, GA

I’m currently at a conference at UGA, located in a town that clearly tries to be walkable, and for the most part fails: for example, it has bike lanes on high-speed arterials and unwalkable streets with share the road signs. … Continue reading

Posted in Pedestrian Observations, Urbanism | 12 Comments

Fatality Numbers vs. Safety

On Streetsblog, they’re waving New York’s relatively high pedestrian fatality rate as evidence the streets are unsafe and much more can be done. The region’s pedestrian death rate is the 13th worst in the nation, about the same as Houston, … Continue reading

Posted in Good/Interesting Studies, New York, Shoddy Studies, Studies | 7 Comments

Reform vs. Reformism

Urban politics in what’s now the US Rust Belt has been dominated by the same battle between the machine and the reformists since the machines first came into existence in the 19th century. Since the national partisan battles weren’t too … Continue reading

Posted in Consensus, New York, Politics and Society, Urbanism | 10 Comments

New York-Area Track Maps

The original purpose of this blog was to give me a domain name to upload things related to transit. The resource I was uploading was track maps of the New York area due to Rich E Green, whose site unexpectedly … Continue reading

Posted in Freight, New York, Regional Rail, Transportation | 12 Comments