The (Mostly) True Story of Helvetica and the New York City Subway

via Kottke, from AIGA Journal of Design: The (Mostly) True Story of Helvetica and the New York City Subway
If the system is complicated, its representation will be complicated.

London congestion charge zone slashed by Boris Johnson

From Times of London London congestion charge zone slashed by Boris Johnson
Boris Johnson (BoJo) is eliminating the western extension of the congestion charge zone as of 2010, implemented in 2007, by former mayor Ken Livingston, but retaining the original core zone instituted in 2003.


From WaPo The Car of the Future — but at What Cost? on the economics, or lack thereof, of hybrid electric vehicles. The article essentially argues that the Volt etc. are “fluff” and not what will save GM because they are too expensive to generate sufficient demand to be profitable.
Also a story in the Strib on independent enthusiasts and their EVs: Electric cars: Plug ‘n’ go

New Transportation Secretary Faces Major Problems

From WaPo: From Funding to Infrastructure, New Transportation Secretary Faces Major Problems
interviews the usual suspects, but probably useful to read.

Access cut off to Rock Island Swing Bridge

From the Strib: Access cut off to Rock Island Swing Bridge
A bridge once connecting Dakota and Washington Counties in Minnesota was closed to pedestrian traffic. “the double-decker structure was closed to trains in 1980 and vehicle traffic in 1999. The bridge was built in 1894.” after part of it fell down. It was planned to be removed in 2010.
“Washington and Dakota counties inherited the bridge when it went into tax forfeiture after several years of private ownership.”

The End of Daylight Savings Time

From Green Daily Obama Should Axe Daylight Time
If it doesn’t save energy, and may cost lives according to “The effects of daylight saving time on vehicle crashes in Minnesota” ( a recent working paper by Arthur Huang and myself), we should end this charade once and for all.
If you want more useful daylight at the end of the work day, don’t change the clock, just go to work earlier!

International Transport Economics Conference: Submission Deadline Nov. 21

International Transport Economics Conference
Incorporating the International Conference on Funding Transport Infrastructure
The International Transport Economics Conference (ITrEC) brings together researchers, practitioners, and policymakers interested in questions of transport economics. Topics include economic questions relating to revenue and finance; congestion, pricing, and investment; production function and cost estimation; transport demand; energy and environment; safety; institutions and industrial organization; and transport and land use. The conference is designed to appeal to participants from varied backgrounds, including economists and transport professionals in particular.
The conference has previously been held in Banff, Canada(2006); Leuven, Belgium (2007); and Paris, France (2008).
Submission of Abstracts
Abstracts will be categorized and ranked by peer reviewers. Theoretical, empirical, case-study, and policy-oriented contributions are welcome. Abstracts of up to 1,000 words must be submitted electronically at by November 21, 2008 for consideration.
Key Dates
Abstracts Due: November 21, 2008
Abstracts Selected and Submitters Notified: January 2009
Final Papers Due (subject to acceptance): April 3, 2009
Early Registration Deadline: May 15, 2009
Conference: June 15-16, 2009
More Information
David Levinson
RP Braun/CTS Chair in Transportation
University of Minnesota
dlevinson {at}
Sara Van Essendelft
Conference Coordinator
University of Minnesota
The conference is hosted by the Center for Transportation Studies at the University of Minnesota.

What type is that blog

(Via AS) The Swedish site Typealyzer analyzes the Myers-Briggs “type” of blogs based on writing style. According to this site, I am still INTJ (for at least 28 years now, since I was first typed).
In contrast, wikipedia types out at INTP, (the P rather than J presumably because of neutral point-of-view and so many authors) and the nexus website at ESTJ (I don’t know why).

Nurses want more traffic safety

A nice article by Jim Foti in the Strib:
Nurses urge ‘ounce of prevention’ on Minnesota’s traffic laws
“Minnesota’s refusal to pass stricter traffic safety laws earned it the second-lowest score in a new national ranking.
“The Emergency Nurses Association released its 2008 scorecard of traffic safety in a St. Paul conference room with vivid views of Interstate 94 and the State Capitol. The group is hoping to persuade the Legislature to save lives — and lots of money — by beefing up the rules.”

“Despite its scorecard ranking, Minnesota generally does well in national surveys of overall highway deaths. In terms of traffic fatalities per 100 million miles traveled, for example, Minnesota had the second-lowest death rate, after Massachusetts, according to Cheri Marti, director of the state’s Office of Traffic Safety.”
SAT Question … look for the internal contradiction in the logic of the Emergency Nurses Association. I.e. do those measures they advocate really save lives, or is there a kind of risk compensation going on?
E.g. Given the crash, wearing a seatbelt is good, but maybe wearing a seatbelt increases the likelihood of a crash.