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