Author Archives: Alon Levy

Zoning and Market Pricing of Housing

The question of the effects of the supply restrictions in zoning on housing prices has erupted among leftist urbanist bloggers again. On the side saying that US urban housing prices are rising because of zoning, see anything by Daniel Kay … Continue reading

Posted in Development, Politics and Society, Urbanism | 34 Comments

Coordinated Planning and High-Speed Rail

High-speed rail and rapid transit both change economic geography, in that they compress distances along the lines built, emphasizing connections along the lines at the expense of ones perpendicular to them. I’ve written about this before, giving the example of … Continue reading

Posted in High-Speed Rail, Providence, Regional Rail, Transportation | 40 Comments

Difficult Transit

Many people have heard that certain regions are well-suited for these projects, for example the Northeast Corridor is unusually good for HSR because it links four major cities and several medium-size ones on a single line. By implication, there has … Continue reading

Posted in High-Speed Rail, New York, Providence, Regional Rail, Sweden, Transportation, Urban Transit, Vancouver | 68 Comments

California HSR Should Not Have Been Funded This Way

Last month, California made a budget deal for the formula that would be used to distribute its cap-and-trade revenues. The state’s cap-and-trade bill does not deed the money to the general budget but to a separate account, to be distributed … Continue reading

Posted in Environmental Issues, High-Speed Rail, Incompetence, Politics and Society, Transportation | 35 Comments

Brief Personal Update

I no longer live in Vancouver. I am leaving the city tonight, heading to New York and New Haven until July 8th (email me if you want to meet). I will then travel to Europe: I got a two-year position … Continue reading

Posted in Personal/Admin | 21 Comments

What Elites Do Instead of Providing Services

I realized last year that even when they face a problem that is evidently about city services, city governments prefer to go for monuments that glorify their leadership. The most blatant example then was Cornell NYC Tech, the city-backed university … Continue reading

Posted in Incompetence, New York, Politics and Society, Transportation | 44 Comments

Airport Connectors

The most interesting transit planner in the world: This principle is true primarily for large international airports. As I will explain, this is less true of smaller airports. But before going on, I would like to clarify a distinction between … Continue reading

Posted in Good Transit, Regional Rail, Transportation, Urban Transit | 147 Comments

Suburban Geography and Transit Modes

A post on Let’s Go LA from last year, about different suburban development patterns in different regions of the US, praises Los Angeles’s suburbs for having an arterial grid that allows some density and permits frequent bus service. The Northeast, … Continue reading

Posted in Development, Regional Rail, Transportation, Urban Transit, Urbanism | 98 Comments

State Boundaries and the Northeast (Hoisted from Comments)

Aaron Renn’s repost on US states mattering more than some people imagine made me think about the difference in attitudes toward state lines in different US regions. Aaron’s examples of state lines mattering come from the Midwest, specifically Indianapolis and … Continue reading

Posted in New York, Politics and Society, Regional Rail, Transportation, Urbanism | 59 Comments

Underrated Transit Projects

In between the airport connectors and mixed-traffic streetcars are some public transit proposals that would be potentially high-performing. This is a list of potential lines in the US that don’t get nearly the exposure that they deserve. The basic rule … Continue reading

Posted in Good Transit, Incompetence, Transportation, Urban Transit | 160 Comments