UK HSR Cost and Carbon estimates (FOIA release)

Several documents on a proposed HSR line in England have recently been released after a Freedom of Information Act Request. Links to these are below:
“Estimated Carbon Impact of a New North-South Line” (pdf)

1.20 (p.6) The London to Manchester base scenario results indicate that none of the rail
options under consideration achieve emissions parity, even at 100% rail share. In
other words if a new line is constructed and operated on this route, regardless of the
rail technology employed, the amount of emissions generated would not reduce to
the level emitted in the do-nothing scenario. Therefore, based on the assumptions
applied, there is no potential carbon benefit in building a new line on the London to
Manchester route over the 60 year appraisal period. In essence, the additional
carbon emitted by building and operating a new rail route is larger than the entire
quantity of carbon emitted by the air services.
1.21 Figure 1.3 illustrates the key findings for the London to Glasgow/Edinburgh route
for the base scenario. The results are substantially different than those for the
London to Manchester route, showing how emissions parity can be achieved for all
rail options, at increasing levels of rail share.

DfT New Line Capacity
Study – cost estimate
This document is redacted, i.e. key numbers are missing, because “The release of this information has the potential for disproportionate and unwarranted adverse impact on property values which may result from publication (generalised blight).” but for the HSR analyst, there is still lots of good comparable information on other systems.
The reports were prepared by Booz, Allen, and Hamilton consultants.

APA presentations online

My presentations from the ongoing APA conference are now online.
Levinson, David (2009) Measuring the Structure of Transport Networks: Beyond Density, Diversity, and Design. American Planning Association National Conference, April 26, 2009
Levinson, David (2009) The Importance of Being Accessible. American Planning Association National Conference, April 25, 2009

Turning Traffic Upside Down

I we will be talking about Accessibility at the APA conference as well ( I have just discovered):
2009 APA National Planning Conference :: Turning Traffic Upside Down

Activity at a Glance Notes
Day Saturday
Time 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Ellen J. Greenberg, AICP
Richard W. Lee, AICP
David Levinson
See you in Minneapolis

Demolition Means Progress

From the NY Times: An Effort to Save Flint, Mich., by Shrinking It
I worked in growth management back in the day, but now Berkeley has a program called “Shrinking Cities in a Global Perspective Program”.
Overall, it seems a shame to let all that sunk capital and infrastructure go to waste, and the wasted human capital associated with high unemployment also seems like it should be a temporary disequilibrium, surely someone could make use of it.

Talk at APA: Infrastructure in the Networked City Session

If you are attending the American Planning Association conference in Minneapolis this upcoming weekend, I will be presenting at the session: Infrastructure in the Networked City

Sessions S462
Day Sunday
Time 4:00 PM – 5:15 PM
Certification Maintenance CM | 1.25 credits
Uri P. Avin, FAICP
Elena Safirova
David M. Levinson
I will talk about the relationship of network structure to travel behavior.

Stimulus funds road projects — especially in Obama’s Illinois

From McClatchy: Stimulus funds road projects — especially in Obama’s Illinois

WASHINGTON — When President Barack Obama proudly announced last week that the government had approved its 2,000th transportation project under the economic stimulus plan, he hailed it as a moment “when a generation of Americans seized the chance to remake the face of this nation.”
Many of those Americans apparently live in Obama’s home state of Illinois.

Slower than a speeding bullet

From The Economist … The progress of high-speed rail | Slower than a speeding bullet
Brian Taylor of UCLA gets quoted. “Brian Taylor, a transport expert at the University of California, Los Angeles, worries that the “coolness factor” of high-speed rail can tempt planners to look for a place to lay track, rather than for problems that fast trains might solve. ”