Author Archives: Alon Levy

Quick Note: High Third-World Construction Cost Examples

Dhaka, the world’s poorest megacity (at least until Kinshasa crosses 10 million and qualifies as a megacity), is building a metro system. Using Japanese financing and Indian consultants, it is planning to build a multi-line system, and getting bids for … Continue reading

Posted in Construction Costs, Transportation, Urban Transit | 1 Comment

Why Avoiding Stereotypes is Important (Hoisted from Comments)

In the transit-related forums I participate in, people know that the US builds subways at higher costs than all other countries, because I talk about it often. This feeds into various stereotypes Americans have of government effectiveness; Americans of many … Continue reading

Posted in Construction Costs, Politics and Society, Transportation | 49 Comments

What is the MTA Reinventing, Anyway?

In the last few years New York’s MTA has gone through multiple cycles in which a new head talks of far-reaching reform, while only small incremental steps are taken. The latest is the MTA Transportation Reinvention Commission, which has just … Continue reading

Posted in Construction Costs, Good Transit, Good/Interesting Studies, Incompetence, New York, Regional Rail, Shoddy Studies, Studies, Transportation, Urban Transit | 15 Comments

Height Limits: Still a Bad Idea

In a pair of recent articles on Strong Towns, Charles Marohn, best known in the urbanist community for introducing the term stroad (street+road) for a pedestrian-hostile arterial street, argues for height limits as a positive force for urbanism. He does … Continue reading

Posted in Development, Politics and Society, Urban Design, Urbanism | 37 Comments

Toward a Tel Aviv S-Bahn

I have been thinking of alternatives to the current plan for a Tel Aviv Subway for several years now; last year I expounded on some principles for a better plan. As I mentioned last year, Tel Aviv’s subway system should … Continue reading

Posted in Israel, Regional Rail, Transportation, Urban Transit | 23 Comments

The NITBY Problem

Usually, the barrier to new development in a neighborhood is NIMBYism: connected local community members do not want the project, saying “not in my backyard.” There’s a wealth of literature about NIMBYs’ role in restrictions on development; William Fischel’s work … Continue reading

Posted in Development, Israel, Politics and Society, Urbanism | 27 Comments

Pedestrian Observations from Central Stockholm

I like Stockholm. There’s something reassuringly familiar about it, despite the language barrier, which I think comes from the fact that the Central Stockholm housing stock is of similar vintage as the residential parts of Manhattan. It even avoids New … Continue reading

Posted in Pedestrian Observations, Regional Rail, Sweden, Transportation, Urban Design, Urban Transit, Urbanism | 35 Comments