Traveler information from Probes

From the NY Times: Navigating With Feedback From Fellow Drivers . The article describe a GPS device from Dash Navigation in which every car is a probe, that reports information back other drivers in the club. This is an idea (hardly original I suspect) I analyzed in Levinson, D. (2002a) The Economics of Traveler Information from Probes. Public Works Management and Policy 6(4) pp 241-250 (April). The model in the paper implies probe information can be very good for detecting incidents, but will be almost useless for recurring congestion, because the lag in the data will be too long to take advantage of it.

No groundbreaking for bridge

MnDOT made the right decision by avoiding a groundbreaking ceremony for the I-35W bridge …
Ceremony for new bridge skipped – Minnesota Daily
Will there be a “ribbon cutting” though?

Lower speed limits on residential streets in UK?

A new study reported by BBC: 20mph limit called for in towns
One of the interesting lines
“The Pacts report, called Beyond 2010 – a holistic approach to road safety in Great Britain, also recommends that all new residential developments should be subject to a “pint of milk test”.
This is whether a resident can reach a shop to buy a pint of milk in under 10 minutes without using a vehicle.”

Centers are edges

Centers are not nodes, in fact junctions are not nodes. In graphs (representation of transportation networks for modeling and analysis), nodes are aspatial representations of the intersection of links, which themselves are aspatial representations of the structure of network. However real nodes, i.e. centers and junctions, take space. As such they provide a spatial separation between areas that adjoin them. They serve as edges to adjoining areas (e.g. neighborhoods).
As Alfred Korzybski once said, “the map is not the territory”. Similarly, the graph is not the place. Network elements separate as they connect.

Shipping Container Architecture

Via Boing-boing: Making Light: Shipping container architecture. A really nice post about the use of excess shipping containers for housing and other purposes. With the disproportionately one-way flow of containerized commodities from Asia to the US, there are a surplus of containers landing on US shores (most are of course shipped back), the post details a number of articles about their reuse.

Car sharing and congestion pricing with compensation

Nice article from the Financial Times on carsharing: You take the hire road
“Streetcar fosters this sense of community by encouraging a sense of responsibility towards other club users. You are asked not to leave the car with the petrol tank less than a quarter full; if the car gets dirty, you are invited to earn an hour’s free rental by taking it to the car wash and getting it cleaned at Streetcar’s expense; and if you return the car late, keeping a neighbour waiting, you are fined £25 – of which £20 goes to your aggrieved fellow member.”
This is exactly the same logic behind the Delayer Pays Principle: Examining Congestion Pricing with Compensation (1.2 MB) (International Journal of Transport Economics 31:3 295-311) Peter Rafferty and I have posited for congestion pricing, those who cause delay pay those who they delayed.

Top 100 Academic Blogs Every Professional Investor Should Read

The Transportationist makes Top 100 Academic Blogs Every Professional Investor Should Read .
I haven’t given much in the way of stock tips on the blog, but hey, if someone can profit from reading this, more power to them.

Oberstar Forum: Cost of Frugality

The Oberstar Forum on Transportation Policy and Technology: The Condition of Our Nation’s Transportation Infrastructure: Heading Toward a Crisis? was held this past Sunday and Monday. The CTS website advertises the public Monday session, but there was a double-secret, super private, unadvertised, invitation only session attended by the elites in the transportation community (i.e. I was invited). These private sessions are more interesting in that there is less speech-making and more discussion, though one can hardly say there was no speech making. In fact, I gave a talk on the Cost of Frugality, which I have posted.

The New I-35W Bridge

MnDOT unveiled plans for the new I-35W replacement bridge day before yesterday… Interstate 35W Bridge in Minneapolis, MN, The main distinction in alternatives seems to be which way the piers are oriented. I think the best you can say about it is that it is unimaginative, but probably better looking than what went before. One never can truly visualize the bridge until it is complete, but I am not optimistic. There are opportunities to do interesting things in the space along the water under the bridge, Sydney does some great things under highway bridges there. It is not clear if those opportunities will be taken, but that is something that can be done later.
Clearly MnDOT missed the boat on the opportunity to use airrights over the bridge for some positive good (in addition to avoiding snow removal and de-icing costs) which is too bad, but not surprising.
Nevertheless, I am amazed that if Aesthetics/Visual Quality amounted to 20% of points available for technical evaluation, that something so mediocre will be built though.