The Transportation Experience: Cover Art

The Transportation Experience: Second Edition by William L. Garrison and David M. Levinson
The Transportation Experience: Second Edition by William L. Garrison and David M. Levinson (2014)
Claude Monet  - Gare Saint Lazare (1877)
Claude Monet – Gare Saint Lazare (1877)


The cover art for the Second Edition of The Transportation Experience is Gare Saint-Lazare (1877) by Claude Monet. A full discussion of the art can be found at the National Gallery of Art exhibition brochure.

The steam and the perspective, and the common theme of trains and rails evoke the earlier impressionistic (though not necessarily impressionist) Rain, Steam, and Speed by JMW Turner which we used on the cover of the First Edition. Monet’s image is set in a station rather than in motion, and in urban Paris rather than the countryside of England at Brunel’s Maidenhead Railway Bridge, but if you look closely, you see structures in the background of both.

The book is available for order at Oxford University Press,  Amazon and Barnes and Noble

The Transportation Experience - First Edition by W.L. Garrison and D.M. Levinson (2005)
The Transportation Experience – First Edition by W.L. Garrison and D.M. Levinson (2005)
Rain, Steam and Speed - The Great Western Railway by J.M.W Turner (1844)
Rain, Steam and Speed – The Great Western Railway by J.M.W Turner (1844)


Garrison, W.L. and Levinson, D.M. (2014) The Transportation Experience: Policy, Planning, and Deployment – Second Edition. Oxford University Press

ISBN-10: 0199862710 | ISBN-13: 978-0199862719 | Edition: 2


Linklist: March 19, 2012

Steven Johnson Why The Bay Area Needs The Bay Lights [Transportation as art]

Created with over 25,000 energy efficient, white LED lights, it is 1½ miles wide and 500 feet high… The Bay Lights is a monumental tour de force seven times the scale of the Eiffel Tower’s 100th Anniversary lighting.

Pioneer Press Planning for [Sprawl in the] South Concord Corridor is in the works:

“A key part of the plan is building a frontage road for I-494 that connects the Hardman Avenue and Concord Street interchanges.

“This convenient frontage road access will open the area up to the market forces generated by the traffic on I-494 and will provide an improved environment for fostering retail, including restaurants,” the study reads.”

Via SR, Pretty cool use of US census data. From Hairycow

Atlantic Cities: Saving Detroit’s Public Transit By Privatizing It [A foot in the door to privatization.]

Authenticated electricity: Sony power outlets will charge you for charging:

“Sony is building a new kind of power outlet that raises a not entirely pleasant prospect—in the future, plugging a phone into a public wall socket might require authentication and take a chunk out of your bank account. But the technology will have many important uses, Sony says, from managing payments for recharging electrical vehicles to avoiding blackouts by intelligently regulating the use of power.”

MasterCard is pitching: Leave the Hassle at Home: Commuting can be Easier with ONE Card for ALL Stops:

“The vast majority of commuters we surveyed think so.  In fact, 72% of respondents in U.S., 85% in Singapore and 86% in South Korea told us they wish there was one card for use across all local mass transit systems. They also estimated that with one payment card they could save close to one hour (55 minutes!) per work week. Well, the capability already exists in MasterCard PayPass and for many, it’s already in your wallet.”

[Yes, I agree, though the time savings is probably exaggerated.].

Baruch Feigenbaum @ Reason says: I-85 Managed Lanes are A Success. [They may or may not be, these data do not prove one way or another yet, since total flows dropped and speeds rose. More people faster would be conclusive (from a transportation perspective, environmentalists would disagree). Fewer people faster is ambiguous, and depends on Value of Time. In percentage terms, speeds rose (3.2% in the GP lanes, 4.6% in the managed lane) more than flows dropped (1.7%)].

Spirit of Transportation

Four works of art entitled “The Spirit of Transportation”. Which do you think best encapsulates that “spirit”?

The Spirit of Transportation (Strength and Service turning the Wheel of Progress): “”


L.A. Places: Bullocks Wilshire


30th Street Station


Coles Philips – Coles Phillips – The Spirit of Transportation undated Painting


The Boat Anthropomorphic


We now move from air to water in our exploration of anthropomorphic vehicles.
TUGS is a British television series created by some of the David Mitton and Robert Cardona, who were heavily involved with Thomas and Friends.


This was succeeded by Theodore Tugboat, a Canadian series by Robert Cardona. While Ringo Starr narrated Thomas in its early years, Denny Doherty (of the Mamas and Papas) narrated Theodore.

Theodore Tugboat
Theodore Tugboat

A YouTube of TUGS (not available on DVD despite an earnest campaign (a similar problem faced by Shining Time Station) is below. I must say, if you are not British, the Tug Boat characters are hard to understand.
On Thomas itself, Bulstrode the Barge is an unfortunate character whose utility is destroyed by Percy and is turned into a playground.

The Helicopter Anthropomorphic

Harold the Helicopter
Harold the Helicopter
Hector the Helicopter
Hector the Helicopter

Continuing our series about anthropomorphic vehicles, we must begin at the beginning, Sodor.
Harold the Helicopter is a character in the Railway Series books by the Rev. W. Awdry and Christopher Awdry and the television series Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends.” “Harold is based on a Sikorsky S-55 helicopter.”
He is a bit snooty in the TV series (at least that is how George Carlin plays him), but turns out to be a fine chap and a good complement to the railways (i.e. he is more mobile, but of course cannot carry large loads economically).
My wife informed me about Budgie the Little Helicopter “On release of the first book, [Sarah] Ferguson [the Duchess of York] was forced to deny she’d copied the idea for the series from the earlier Hector the Helicopter book by A.W. Baldwin”. Her being a royal, and me being an anti-Monarchist, I want to believe she is guilty, but I really have no evidence, and how many anthropomorphic helicopter stories can there be (helicopter meets airplane – helicopter loses airplane (to that crime-fighting rapscallion Zeppelin the Blimp) – helicopter regains airplane, helicopter vs. nature, helicopter vs. himself, etc.)? This Hector the Helicopter is not to be confused with the Hector at, which is based at the American Helicopter Museum and Education Center. Budgie seems to be based on a Bell 206.

Budgie the Little Helicopter
Budgie the Little Helicopter

I have both Budgie and Hector on order at Amazon, and will report back on the plagiarism charge. I have not seen the TV series based on Budgie, which sadly is available only in VHS but not a modern format (nor apparently on BT – maybe I should have searched for helicopterz). Some YouTube clips are available, I share the intro below. (There are anthropomorphic airplanes on Budgie, so those can be added to the previous entry).

The Plane Anthropomorphic


JayJay the Jet Plane
JayJay the Jet Plane

Anthropomorphic vehicles are now a common theme on the Transportationist. But I am not alone. Apparently this is an entire art form in Japan. Here we review a few popular anthropomorphic planes.
Jay Jay the Jet Plane, set in Tarrytown.

Jeremy the Jet Plane
Jeremy the Jet Plane
Airplane from the movie Planes
Airplane from the movie Planes

Unlike the original Thomas the Tank Engine, I am sure Jay Jay was created by committee. You can imagine the conversation. “Hey PBS is looking for a new kids show. Anthropomorphic Trains are popular. What do American kids like better than trains. Yes, airplanes. Let’s do that.” No TSA in Tarrytown.
[This of course is not as bad as the committee that developed Dinosaur Train (in which it is the dinosaurs, but not the trains, which were anthropomorphized). {To be fair, An article in the Post Gazette says “Series creator Craig Bartlett was inspired when he saw his son, now in college, playing with trains and dinosaurs together back when his son was in preschool.”, I remain dubious, it smells of committee.}]
Jeremy from Thomas the Tank Engine. You could see this coming from the new airport in Calling All Engines!, in which Jeremy did not appear.
Planes, a spinoff of Cars, coming soon Direct to DVD from Disney [a sure sign of quality].
Disney has explored this territory before, with the 1943 film Pedro!, in which “A small plane has to face the perils of delivering the mail over the treacherous Chilean Andes”. I do not know if they will revive (this now antique, and presumably much older and wiser airplane) for the above movie.
And of course this ad by

Dematerializing Architecture – Skinning Buildings

Augmented Reality Goggles
Augmented Reality Goggles

Architecture in one sense deals with the most material of human creations, structures. Buildings are physical entities in the realm of atoms as much as bits. The physical layout of buildings, their mass, structural elements, and so on are the work of architects. But there is another aspect of architecture which is primarily aesthetic. The surface form of structures, the gargoyles appended to buildings. This art lies firmly in the realm of information, even though it has historically been presented in concrete, wood, and masonry, rather than on paper, vinyl, or plastic.
The advent of augmented reality will allow us to dematerialize this aesthetic aspect of architecture. Instead of seeing the building as the architect designed it, we can see it according to our preference, with the skin we wish to attach. In a world of augmented reality, no one will pay for any ephemerally fashionable aesthetic attachments when they can subscribe to a set of aesthetics in software.
The form will still matter, as we still need to be inside buildings to stay dry, and need to know where the entrances and exits are to avoid walking into walls. Buildings as housers of beds and containers of furniture and tools will remain important, as will their spatial location. But ornament will not, as that will be in the eye (or the AR glasses) of the beholder. We can expect a new construction based on the plainest surface which will be the easiest to adapt to computer models.
We will no longer need worry about historic preservation, bridges with egregious sight lines, or other offenses to our sensibilities. We will simply need to don the appropriate goggles (or farther into the future, jack our brains into the appropriate computers), and find ourselves presented with the world as we wish it to be.

Mural Painted on Mpls. Street to Help Slow Traffic

KSTP Mural Painted on Mpls. Street to Help Slow Traffic :

“In an attempt to make a busy intersection safer, a Minneapolis neighborhood used the street as their canvas.
Sunday the Corcoran Neighborhood Organization, or CNO, painted a mural onto the pavement at East 34th Street and 19th Avenue South with help from more than 100 volunteers.
The goal is to highlight the busy intersection so drivers see it and slow down. The intersection is a concern because it’s used by kids headed to Corcoran Park.”