Driving I-94 from city to city now borderline nuts

Strib reports on I-94 repairs Driving I-94 from city to city now borderline nuts:

Now, I-94 motorists are discovering that the daily rush-hour between cities is being slowed by as much as 20 to 30 minutes thanks to the $23.9 million resurfacing and repair that runs for about four miles between Cretin Avenue in St. Paul and Nicollet Avenue in Minneapolis.
The work on one of the busiest stretches of Twin Cities highway is expected to last until late fall before resuming again next spring.

Magee said the work is part of a plan to upgrade the road following the 2007 I-35W bridge collapse. Weeks after the disaster, a stretch of I-94 was re-striped to add a fourth lane in each direction as part of an emergency measure to cope with the traffic rerouted from 35W. The extra lanes were later made permanent with permission from the Federal Highway Administration, which required the state to complete the upgrades now under way, Magee said.
“Anybody who drives that road knows [the upgrades] needed to be done,” said Kent Barnard, a MnDOT spokesman.

While I realize the scope is larger than what MnDOT did with I-94 after the I-35W Bridge Collapse
(1) That project was done and then undone
(2) It cost only $1,162,000 according to MnDOT 10.23.07
(3) It was done in a couple of weekends
(4) It functioned quite well at the time (i.e. this one lane in each direction reduced congestion about as much as the more expensive replacement I-35W Bridge).
I suspect this is just mostly redoing that project in more expensive way. We found that the 2007 I-94 lane restriping and some additional pavement paid off in a matter of a month. This contrasts with the reconstructed I-35W bridge, which at 3% interest rates paid off in about 23 years.

California Farmer – All UC Campus Seminars Online

California Farmer reports that now All UC Campus Seminars Online
This would be a great thing if true. See http://seminars.uctv.tv/ Ironically, the article does not allow cut and paste. Somehow, I don’t think it is quite all seminars though. I doubt it is even all online seminars. Still this is progress and would a good thing to emulate.

MTA.ME

MTA.ME New York’s subways in musical motion

An App That Organizes Your City by Travel Time

GOOD: An App That Organizes Your City by Travel Time :

“Mapnificent is a Google Maps application that provides a brilliant new way of looking at your local geography. Rather than letting you specify a start point and end point and then giving you directions and travel time, as most map applications normally do, Mapnificent allows you to specify a starting location and then see all the places you can reach by public transportation within a certain amount of time. This lets you pick an apartment, restaurant, or bar based on the amount of travel time you can tolerate. Someone hire this Stefan Wehrmeyer fellow (and not just for the fun accent).”

This sounds a lot like our Accessibility mapper for the Twin Cities, which is multi-modal and does more. I assume this works off of Google Transit Feeds, which seems a reasonable approach for scaling up. Of course the video focuses on jobs (great) and coffee shops, which is the irrational target destination of 20-something planner types.

Mapnificent from Stefan Wehrmeyer on Vimeo.

Patri Friedman makes waves with ‘seasteading’ plan

SFGate Reports Patri Friedman makes waves with ‘seasteading’ plan:

“Milton Friedman’s grandson Patri has a vision that might have made the economist proud: to build a floating libertarian nation 12 miles off the coast of California.
Billed as “Burning Man meets Silicon Valley meets the water,” the planned nation flotilla would be constructed on a variety of barges and water platforms within sight of San Francisco. It would include everything from homes, schools and hospitals to bikes for transportation and aqua farms for food.

Seasteading is necessary because in San Francisco, “the government isn’t as efficient as it could be. Stuff just doesn’t get done in a way that makes sense,” says Bell. “Like Muni is so slow.”

While I agree that SF is not the most efficient local municipality, you won’t need Muni on a boat, also, I suspect boats aren’t much faster after all is said and done.

“Friedman’s mission is to open a political vacuum into which people can experiment with startup governments that are “consumer-oriented, constantly competing for citizens,” he says.
“I envision tens of millions of people in an Apple or a Google country,” where the high-tech giants would govern and residents would have no vote. “If people are allowed to opt in or out, you can have a successful dictatorship,” the goateed Friedman says, wiggling his toes in pink Vibram slippers.”

I trust Google with search, and Apple with phones, but I don’t think I want them running the government. This sounds a lot like David Friedman, Machinery of Anarchy. Those interested in this in practice should visit Somalia.

More than 4,000 National Academies Press PDFs Now Available to Download for Free

More than 4,000 National Academies Press PDFs Now Available to Download for Free
But not TRB? TRB really needs to get on board with this.