How a chance encounter in St. Paul almost prevented World War II

Now at How a chance encounter in St. Paul almost prevented World War II :

“While staying in St. Paul, Minnesota, Zeppelin encountered a fellow German who had served for the Union inflating a hot-air balloon. It was here Count Zeppelin first went airborne in 1863. The rest, as the say, is history.”

JTLU 5(3)

We are pleased to announce the publication of Vol. 5, Issue 3 of the Journal
of Transport and Land Use
Table of Contents
Viewpoint: Assessing the reality—Transport and land use planning to
achieve sustainability

  • David Banister, Oxford University

What makes travel ‘local’: Defining and understanding local travel behavior

  • Kevin Manaugh and Ahmed El-Geneidy, McGill University

Impact of light rail implementation on labor market accessibility: A
transportation equity perspective

  • Yingling Fan, Andrew E. Guthrie, and David M. Levinson, University of

How built environment affects travel behavior: A comparative analysis of
the connections between land use and vehicle miles traveled in US cities

  • Lei Zhang, University of Maryland
  • Arefeh Nasri, University of Maryland
  • Jin Hyun Hong, University of Washington
  • Qing Shen, University of Washington

Does public transit use increase the economic efficiency of urban areas?

  • Mathew Drennan, UCLA
  • Charles Brecher, New York University

The paths from walk preference to walk behavior: Applying latent factors in
structural equation modeling

  • Matthew A. Coogan, New England Transportation Institute
  • Thomas Adler, Resource Systems Group
  • Karla Karash, TranSystems Corporation

Delivering the ‘D’ in transit-oriented development: Examining the town
planning challenge

  • Carey Curtis, Curtin University

Book Review
Human transit: How clearer thinking about public transit can enrich our
communities and our lives, by Jarrett Walker

  • Kari Edison Watkins, Georgia Institute of Technology

The Journal of Transport and Land Use is an open-access, peer-reviewed
online journal publishing original interdisciplinary papers on the
interaction of transport and land use. Domains include: engineering,
planning, modeling, behavior, economics, geography, regional science,
sociology, architecture and design, network science, and complex systems.
Thank you for the continuing interest in our work,

2012 Best Mid-Late 20th Century Enclosed Shopping Mall: Mall of America |

Now @ 2012 Best Mid-Late 20th Century Enclosed Shopping Mall: Mall of America:

“What do most urbanists want? A lively, pedestrian realm, clean, free of automobiles, with a variety of activities, the ability to interact with others and randomly encounter friends and acquaintances. This is what the shopping mall gives.”

In praise of contiguity |

Now @ Streets.MN : In praise of contiguity :

“After seeing other places throughout the world, notably Toronto, London, Manhattan, any continental European city, even Washington DC, I believe the problem with making Minneapolis a first rate pedestrian city is the lack of contiguity. There are some really good walkable sections, but they are not connected well (or at all).”

Why Grids Matter and We Should Recreate Them At All Cost (Strictly for the ROI)

WALKABLE Dallas-Fort Worth: Why Grids Matter and We Should Recreate Them At All Cost (Strictly for the ROI):

“A dendritic system is defined by a branching structure that funnels movement in one direction. Whereas a conventional grid provides a multiplicity of routes. The key defining factor is choice. Think about this from where you live and you’re on your way to work or to pick up the kids or to get a gallon of milk. How many routes can you take? What if there is a wreck along the way? How many different modes of travel are quick and convenient?
There is quite a bit of talk about the emergent nature of cities as complex systems, but few really understand the applicability to how we design our cities and the dynamics of the process. What we have to understand is that emergence implies a second level of organization that is largely beyond our control. Why? Because we can only ‘design’ the first level of organization, whether it is a building or a road. Because designers are only one person or group working on one problem. The second order of ‘design’ happens when everybody else decides how to use the system. That can’t be designed en masse, only nudged in certain directions depending upon how well we understand the dynamics of this emergence.”

Profitmobiles (EVs)

Quartz: Elon Musk’s electric car company Tesla Motors is now cash-flow positive:

“Elon Musk just disclosed on CNBC that last week, for the first time, Tesla Motors was “mildly cash-flow positive.” That’s only a couple weeks later than Musk’s earlier prediction that Tesla would become cash-flow positive by the end of November. The electric-car company is also paying back early its $465 million loan from the US Department of Energy, and the company is ramping up production to 200 cars per week.”

10,000 cars per year is still a bit less than the 13 million cars per year in the US market, but it is more than zero, or what EV production has been historically. It would be about half of Nissan Leaf sales (18,000) or a third of the Chevy Volt (~30,000).
More on Electric Drive sales here at the industry trade group. Sales of hybrids + EVs are now up to 3.3% of the total market. Most of that is hybrids though.

John Silva, Maker of ‘Telecopter’ Camera, Dies at 92

NYT Reports: John Silva, Maker of ‘Telecopter’ Camera, Dies at 92 :

“Helicopter news footage is common today. But until myriad problems in sending live pictures from a moving aircraft were solved, television broadcasters could not show an eagle’s-eye view of a forest fire, or contemplate aerial coverage of, say, a famous man fleeing the police in a white Ford Bronco.
John Silva made that now-familiar vantage possible in 1958, when he converted a small helicopter into the first airborne virtual television studio.”

London’s black cabs to get free high-speed WiFi hotspots from early 2013 – The Next Web

If anyone was wondering why Google is interested in self-driving vehicles … imagine the future as robot black cabs. The Next Web: London’s black cabs to get free high-speed WiFi hotspots from early 2013

London Underground Stamps and £2 Coin


London Reconnections: In Pictures: London Underground Stamps & £2 Coin :

“Earlier this year, the Post Office confirmed that they would be issuing a number of stamps to commemorate the 150th Anniversary of the opening of the Underground. The designs for these stamps have now been made public, and are featured below. The set features two second class stamps, which focus specifically on the Metropolitan Railway, and four first class stamps taking a broader look at the Underground. In addition, there are four long-format commemorative stamps each of which features a variety of Underground posters.”

Valuation of travel time reliability from a GPS-based experimental design

Recently published

Carrion, Carlos and David Levinson (in press) Valuation of travel time reliability from a GPS-based experimental design Transportation Research part C [doi]:

“In the Minneapolis–St. Paul region (Twin Cities), the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) converted the Interstate 394 High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes to High Occupancy Toll (HOT) lanes (or MnPASS Express Lanes). These lanes allow single occupancy vehicles (SOVs) to access the HOV lanes by paying a fee. This fee is adjusted according to a dynamic pricing system that varies with the current demand. This paper estimates the value placed by the travelers on the HOT lanes because of improvements in travel time reliability. This value depends on how the travelers regard a route with predictable travel times (or small travel time variability) in comparison to another with unpredictable travel times (or high travel time variability). For this purpose, commuters are recruited and equipped with Global Positioning System (GPS) devices and instructed to commute for two weeks on each of three plausible alternatives between their home in the western suburbs of Minneapolis eastbound to work in downtown or the University of Minnesota: I-394 HOT lanes, I-394 General Purpose lanes (untolled), and signalized arterials close to the I-394 corridor. They are then given the opportunity to travel on their preferred route after experiencing each alternative. This revealed preference data is then analyzed using discrete choice models of route. Three measures of reliability are explored and incorporated in the estimation of the models: standard deviation (a classical measure in the research literature); shortened right range (typically found in departure time choice models); and interquartile range (75th–25th percentile). Each of these measures represents distinct ways about how travelers deal with different sections of reliability. In all the models, it was found that reliability was valued highly (and statistically significantly), but differently according to how it was defined. The estimated value of reliability in each of the models indicates that commuters are willing to pay a fee for a reliable route depending on how they value their reliability savings.”