Where should bus stops go …

In a nice article in The Oregonian about my friend Robert Bertini’s Portland State University lab: Lab helps TriMet glide to more green lights , simulation tests comparing bus stop locations on the near and far side of intersections shows bus stops should go on the far side of intersections, reducing bus delay. This is a valuable use of simulation, that should be corroborated with empirical evidence (though I am fairly sure it is right). I suspect in general it also reduces the delay of other vehicles. Another question is how does it affect access times to bus stops, which depends on local land use issues.

Los Angeles Traffic

Briefly noted, Randy Crane has a nice Post on traffic in Los Angeles. Fortunately, we don’t have congestion here in the Twin Cities

Airport Parking … Cell Phone Lots

From today’s a[er … USATODAY.com – More airports try to keep drivers out of the loop. The article reports on parking lots at airports designed for people picking up passengers, who are no longer allowed to wait at curbside. So drivers wait with cars in lots, and when the passenger calls on the cell phone, the driver can pick up the passenger. An interesting intersection of information and communication technology and transportation.
Since I live 20 minutes from the airport (MSP). I have people call when landing, and by the time they pick up their luggage, I am outside. The synchronization is pretty good, though the airport cops do try to move me along, I am usually sufficiently stuck behind other pick-up drivers that there is no problem. MSP does not have a cell-phone lot, I guess we are behind the times and need to close the cell-phone lot gap.

An Inconvenient Truth

We saw Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth this weekend. I had actually already read the book, and was curious to see his Apple Keynote based presentation, just to see what state of the art is in presentations (not a bullet-point to be seen), as well of course to be warned that the world as we know it is coming to an end, and if I do nothing, it is my own damn fault. The movie basically stars Keynote, with Al Gore as a supporting actor.

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City officials want “balance”

Maple Grove, a Twin Cities suburb, seems to think there are too many townhouses …. Article: Maple Grove may limit building of townhouses

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The Big Dig is Falling Down

From today’s newspaper: Concrete collapses in Boston tunnel, killing 1.
Clearly there have been a number of problems with this megaproject. At what point do projects become too big to successfully manage?

California’s high speed rail just won’t die

According to an editorial by Michael Dukakis, L.A.-S.F. train is a quick traffic fix – Los Angeles Times, California should build a high-speed rail line to reduce urban congestion. Clearly the former governor has never heard of opportunity costs . Spending money on intercity transportation means the money cannot be spent to solve real problems within metropolitan areas, where the traffic is.

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BART ridership to airport fails to take off

From SFGate SFO / BART ridership to airport fails to take off.
This is consistent with a lot of research on megaprojects. See e.g. Pickrell “A Desire Named Streetcar: Fantasy and Fact in Rail Transit Planning”. Journal of the American Planning Association 58(2):159-176,
and Flyvbjerg Megaprojects and Risk

Correlation is not causation

The Wall Street Journal has an opinion piece on speed limits: OpinionJournal – Featured Article which argues that raising the speed limit has been correlated with an increase in safety.

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