Monthly Archives: May 2011

More on Density

Commenter Benjamin Hemric replies to my previous post on Manhattan density, arguing that, 1) It’s very interesting that people seem to have very, very different goals and objectives here — and it’s good that these are expressed and out in … Continue reading

Posted in Development, New York, Urban Design, Urbanism | 10 Comments

How Dense is Too Dense?

Whenever people who support restrictions on building want to justify the limits of density, they say the area is too dense, or possibly too dense for the present traffic capacity or quality of life. This is true regardless of density. … Continue reading

Posted in Development, New York, Urbanism | 15 Comments

Philadelphia Link, or Organization Before Concrete

Pedestrian Observations commenter Steve Stofka has a blog post treating Amtrak’s $117 billion high-speed rail proposal for the Northeast Corridor with all the criticism for extravagance it deserves. Focusing on his hometown of Philadelphia, he explains how Amtrak’s proposal for … Continue reading

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

High Costs Should not be an Excuse to Downgrade Projects

In an environment of high construction costs, there’s an impulse to downgrade projects: build light rail instead of subways, BRT instead of rail, commuter rail on existing tracks instead of greenfield light rail, shared-lane buses and streetcars instead of ones … Continue reading

Posted in Construction Costs, Incompetence, Transportation, Urban Transit | 16 Comments

Suburban TOD

Hicksville is located 43 kilometers east of Penn Station on the LIRR Main Line. It’s a major job center of eastern Nassau County, with 25,000 jobs and a rather large shopping center adjacent to the train station. The station itself … Continue reading

Posted in Development, Incompetence, Regional Rail, Transportation, Urban Design, Urbanism | 12 Comments

More on Driving vs. Transit Costs

Thanks to Elizabeth Alexis of CARRD for finding and giving me a link to the AAA’s methodology for computing driving costs, used in APTA’s flawed study about the high household savings coming from switching from driving to transit. The AAA … Continue reading

Posted in Cars, Good/Interesting Studies, Shoddy Studies, Studies, Transportation | 5 Comments

Overperforming Rail Lines

Amtrak’s latest addition to the Northeast Corridor network, the once daily Lynchburg extension, is overperforming. Both Amtrak’s press release and local reporters brag that this train has overperformed ridership expectations by a factor of 2.5 and revenue expectations by a … Continue reading

Posted in Amtrak, Good Transit, Transportation | 14 Comments

US Rail Construction Costs

This is a placeholder post, in which I’m just going to summarize the costs of projects in the US and the rest of the world. I will focus on subway tunnels, but also put some above-ground rail for comparison. No … Continue reading

Posted in Construction Costs, Transportation | 56 Comments

Frequent New York City Buses

Following Jarrett Walker‘s repeated focus on frequency as the main distinguishing feature of local transit service, some people have gone and made maps of the frequent buses of their local areas, complementing official maps in such cities as Portland and … Continue reading

Posted in New York, Transportation, Urban Transit | 16 Comments


I’ve been meaning to do an official introduction, but then had content posts to write. So here goes: I have just obtained a Ph.D. in pure mathematics from Columbia, and will move to Providence sometime this summer. My research has … Continue reading

Posted in Personal/Admin | 6 Comments