From Freakonomics: Your City Needs You to Blow Through Red Lights
Apparently too much enforcement induces too much compliance, so there is not enough revenue to pay for the enforcement. There must be an equilibrium between revenue and compliance.
I heard this a few years ago, and going through old notes, decided to post, from the CBC series: As It Happens
To listen: Real Audio file, go to minute 21m:20s
The introductory text: “For as long as most of us can remember, the citizens of North America have been firmly entrenched on the right. Now, a bold and shocking proposal in the state of Ohio may result in a wild shift to the left. And it will come as no surprise that the French are involved.
The Ohio Department of Transportation is currently mulling over an unprecedented traffic diversion. If a recent recommendation comes to fruition, drivers on U.S. Highway 224 may find themselves driving — if only briefly — on the left side of the road. The lane-reversal plan is a proposed import from the city of Versailles, France, where Gallic drivers have found it to be “la rue juste”.”
This is a clever idea to avoid left-turn conflicts (or at least put them where you want them and make the crossovers seem like through movements. Wikipedia has an article.
My former classmate, Joe Bared, now at FHWA did a study with colleagues:
TechBrief: Drivers’ Evaluation of the Diverging Diamond Interchange, FHWA-HRT-07-048
The Hwy 224 proposal in Ohio was rejected. The proposal for Kansas City seems alive.
From Streetsblog, Paterson Backs Pricing, Introduces Bill in Albany
Congestion Pricing in NYC may yet live. The politics are that the excess revenue from pricing goes to support transit. Locals support (generally), while auto commuters and others who drive into Manhattan oppose. I still have issues with an area scheme vs. a cordon scheme (the latter should have lower collection costs), but again this is a perfect vs. good situation.
My class did a case study on this last semester here
Three links about the reconstruction of Wilde Lake Village Center (nee Wilde Lake Village Green in Columbia).
Wilde Lake was the first village in the planned community of Columbia, Maryland, and the Village Green was among the first buildings. And after 40 years, there are plans afoot to gut the center and rebuild it. While the verbal descriptions are not too helpful, it sounds like the standard banal new urbanist insta-downtown writ small (see e.g. Excelsior and Grand in St. Louis Park Minnesota or Rockville Town Square in Maryland) sans grocery store. I have an interest because it was the shopping center of my youth as well as my interest in planning and the history of Columbia. Times change I suppose, and if the market isn’t there for what exists, it must be changed, though maybe the Historic Preservationists have something to say.
Big plans for Wilde Lake: Owner seeks to raze, rebuild village center – Columbia Flier
Reinventing Wilde Lake the aim — baltimoresun.com
Reinventing Wilde Lake Village Green – Tales Of Two Cities
For my take on what’s become of Columbia, see: Levinson, David (2003) The Next America Revisited. Journal of Planning Education and Research Summer 2003, Volume 22, Number 4, pp. 329-345.
From the Blog Marginal Revolution: How many books should be facing out?
An interesting question, how should a bookstore optimally display information and provide a large inventory in a finite space, there is a trade-off between usability (and thus sales and profit ) and inventory (and thus sales and profit).
(Hence the invention and success of Amazon.)
Noted, but not endorsed (experience suggests they have a tendency to misquote those they talk to), for your reading entertainment: “User-skill-based Mass Transit!”.
The risk of linking to cranks is it gives them publicity, but this one is truly outside the box.
At least they oppose the California High Speed Rail Initiative (unless they get 30% of the funds).