Build your high capacity system

Now in Portland, so reading the Portland news”paper”, the Portland Oregonian: Metro maps out MAX’s future across Portland
There is a nice website by Portland Metro: Build your high capacity system allowing users to select lines and see the costs. This is an interesting step in public involvement. It would be cooler if people could draw new lines rather than just selecting from potential lines.

HSR around the world

I am quoted in a nice article by Jessica Bernstein-Wax in the San Jose Mercury News: High-speed rail around the world –

But Dr. David Levinson, a civil engineering professor at the University of Minnesota who has studied high-speed trains, questioned whether California is the ideal place for the technology, given its mountainous terrain and a population density that is low compared with parts of the Northeast and certainly most Asian cities.
“It’s not the worst corridor in the U.S. — I can think of a lot of corridors that are sillier,” Levinson said. “In terms of demand, it’s not a terrible market. But in terms of cost it’s much higher, and that’s because of the mountains.”
Levinson predicted that the project, if completed, would balloon to at least $80 billion, particularly if the trains run underground on the Peninsula.
“The people in the cities throughout the Peninsula are not going to want elevated trains going through their towns, and they’re going to have to build tunnels,” Levinson said. “That’s going to drive up the costs.”

It is part of special report on High-Speed Rail.

Portland State University Talk, April 3, Noon

My talk upcoming at Portland State (Described as “slightly geeky” by Portland Transport)
Topic: Transport, Land Use, and Value
Abstract: This presentation considers co-evolutionary process between the development of land and transport networks. Using data from the rail and Underground in London and the streetcar system in the Twin Cities, the empirical relationship is established statistically under several different contexts, and hypotheses about the positive feedback nature of the interaction are tested. Using insights from empirical observation, a numerical simulation is constructed to more formally test the relationship, and to understand the extent to which allowing networks to vary in response to land use (and land use to vary in response to network) affects the spatial organization of each. Models of network growth which fix land use, and models of land use which fix network growth, underestimate the degree of hierarchy that emerges in the system. Given transportation creates land value, and recognizing the problem of underfunding transport infrastructure, new funding sources can be used to increase transport investment, create additional land value, and improve social welfare.
Portland State University
Center for Transportation Studies
Spring 2009 Transportation Seminar Series
Speaker: David Levinson
Associate Professor in the Department of Civil Engineering at the
University of Minnesota and Director of the Networks, Economics,
and Urban Systems (NEXUS) research group
Topic: Transport, Land Use, and Value
When: Friday, April 3, 2009, 12:00 – 1:00pm
Where: PSU Urban Center Building, SW 6th and Mill, Room 204