Highway Boondoggles | US PIRG

US PIRG just released “Highway Boondoggles: Wasted Money and America’s Transportation Future“. The report is very much in line with our Fix-it-First report, noting many new expansion projects that waste scarce funds,  not consistent with the actual needs for repair, and fly in the face of long-term “peak travel” trends showing declining use of the car […]

Mount Transit, Mount Auto, Mount Next

In the US, we have seen a great struggle play out in the twentieth century between what David Jones calls Mass Motorization and Mass Transit . The conflict between the modes continues to this day, and has become a morality play in the culture wars. While they mostly serve different markets, they compete for users, […]

Transportation’s New Wave

The new version of The Transportation Experience describes the history of transportation across several five to six decade long waves. While the periods are straightforward (though somewhat arbitrary, as would be any periodization of social trends), there is some subjectivity in the dominant technology with which to characterize them. Certainly the first period is an […]

When will we reach peak road?

We have possibly reached peak vehicle, and peak travel in the US. Have we reached peak road? Noodling about USDOT statistics I see Table 1-4: Public Road and Street Mileage in the United States by Type of Surface (Bureau of Transportation Statistics), which suggests we reached peak road sometime between 2008 and 2011. Unpaved mileage […]

7 Ways to Reduce Transportation Waste

Some 20 years ago a book came out “Stuck in Traffic” by the brilliant Anthony Downs. One of his key points was the “Iron Law of Congestion”, sometimes called “Triple Convergence”, and now called “Induced Demand” which basically said if you expand a road, the extra capacity gets used up by people switching routes, modes, […]

The Traffic is Falling

Published at the CTS Conversations Blog as Why are Twin Citians taking fewer trips? The latest summary of the Twin Cities Travel Behavior Inventory is out, and it says the total number of trips in 2011 is lower than in 2001. This is consistent with a lot of evidence we have been seeing from various […]