Monthly Archives: June 2011

Planned Cities

The back and forth between Steve and me about his proposed pedestrian-oriented city led me to think more about planned cities, as his is. Although it’s normal among urbanists (for example, Jane Jacobs) to contrast organic cities with planned cities, … Continue reading

Posted in Development, Politics and Society, Urban Design, Urbanism | 15 Comments

Sprawl is Auto-Oriented

Steve Stofka has a post detailing his ideal new city, built on principles of high density through very narrow streets, and an interconnected, pedestrian-friendly grid. Its population is given as 30,000, and its area as about 2 square miles, or … Continue reading

Posted in Development, Urban Design, Urbanism | 10 Comments

Politicals vs. Technicals: the Primary Division of Transit Activists

There are two distinct streams among modern American transit activists, both of which support more transit investment but in ways so different that the arguments between them have taken over debates on such transit issues as California High-Speed Rail and … Continue reading

Posted in Good Transit, Politics and Society, Transportation | 39 Comments

Why Density Requires Height

Among modern urbanists, the universal consensus that the postwar urban form of towers in parks is bad gives way to fractious disagreements about which urban form to replace them with. The main battle lines are drawn between libertarians and such … Continue reading

Posted in Development, Urbanism | 44 Comments

Why Transit Should be in the Fast Lane

Local buses tend to use the slow lane, which in North America means the rightmost lane; this is how they access the curb to pick up passengers. New York’s painted bus lanes on First and Second Avenues are to the … Continue reading

Posted in Good Transit, Transportation, Urban Design, Urban Transit, Urbanism | 8 Comments

Good Industry Practices Thread

In contrast to the mismanagement highlighted in the last few posts, there’s a set of best industry practices for good transit. Here is a list of what I believe are the most salient. As far as possible I’ve avoided contentious … Continue reading

Posted in Good Transit, Regional Rail, Transportation, Urban Transit | 42 Comments

Organization and Electronics vs. Concrete in Washington

There’s a discussion going on at Greater Greater Washington about future expansions of the Washington Metro, adding more coverage and capacity; read both the posts and the comments, because there are great debates about just how much concrete really is … Continue reading

Posted in Regional Rail, Transportation, Urban Transit | 18 Comments

Bad US Rail Practices, and What It Means for FRA Regulations

As I alluded to in the last few posts, although the FRA is the primary obstacle to a passenger rail revival, the old railroader traditions it reinforces are still strong in the commuter railroads. At some, for example the MBTA … Continue reading

Posted in Amtrak, Incompetence, Regional Rail, Transportation | 34 Comments

Bad FRA Regulations

Since many people are linking to my previous post identifying the FRA as the primary obstacle to an American railroad revival, I’m hoisting a comment I wrote on the Infrastructurist detailing some of the FRA regulations that are the most … Continue reading

Posted in FRA, Incompetence, Regional Rail, Transportation | 34 Comments

International Links Underperform

Eurostar, the high-speed rail system connecting London and Paris, underperforms. Its ridership, 9.5 million in 2010, is very low relative to both ridership projections and the populations of the cities it connects. This is used by opponents of high-speed rail … Continue reading

Posted in High-Speed Rail, Transportation | 22 Comments