From the AP: Study: Drivers on Cells Clogging Traffic
In addition to being a hazard, it seems drivers using cell phones also slow down traffic. I wonder if this delay is offset by the faster response times to incidents because cell phones are ubiquitous.
Planning for Place and Plexus: Metropolitan Land Use and Transport by David Levinson and Kevin Krizek is now out and available for pre-order. I received my copies today and am quite pleased with how it came out.
Growing out of a course we taught on transportation and land use (PA8202/CE8202: Networks and Places), the book took many years, and I need to think my co-author Kevin Krizek, the publisher Routledge, and their staff and contractors, notably Katy Low, Ben Woolhead, Andrew Craddock, Victoria Johnson, Eleanor Rivers, Jane Wilde, Kate McDevitt, David McBride, our artist Doug Benson, and CTS’s Peter Park Nelson for making this real. My mailbox storing correspondence I have received on the book (excluding what I sent) numbers 723 messages since July 2002. I don’t even want to think about how difficult this must have been without email.
The blurb on the book brochure says:
Planning for Place and Plexus provides a fresh and unique perspective
on metropolitan land use and transport networks, challenging current
planning strategies and offering frameworks to understand and evalu-
The book suggests actions for the future urban growth of metropolitan
areas and includes current and cutting edge theory, findings, and rec-
ommendations which are cleverly illustrated throughout using interna-
tional examples. It is a valuable resource for students, researchers,
practitioners, and policy advisors working across transport, land use,
‘A lively, engaging book…which uses neoclassical economic principles…in a
digestible format. The authors go so far as to draw from the film “Thelma and
Louise” to show how game theory can be applied in predicting whether some-
one will drive or take public transit. This provocative, highly relevant book de-
serves to be on the bookshelf of everyone concerned with urban planning and
— Robert Cervero, Professor and Chair, Department of City and Regional Planning, University of California, Berkeley
A YouTube Find from a reader … why can’t we have transportation visions like this anymore, or is it that we just don’t believe them?
YouTube – Magic Highway USA
(Of course there are many many visions embedded in this one video).
In response to letters from the President of the University of Minnesota, former U of Mn Regent, Peter Bell, currently Chair of the Metropolitan Council now endorses Central Corridor on Washington Avenue at grade.
Now maybe someone will seriously consider getting private cars off of Washington Avenue if it is such a safety and congestion trap (which of course it would be were cars, buses, trucks, light rail, pedestrians, and bicyclists trying to simultaneously use that space). The price would be much lower than a tunnel (some paint, some bollards, and a “Do Not Enter” sign for starters).
Think about it this way, construction is effectively going to close Washington Avenue to traffic anyway for some period of time, just keep it closed.
This not too technical link might help some university officials rethink the issue.
From Induced Demand to Reduced Demand
Effects of Roadway Capacity Reductions.
The I-35W Bridge collapse provides another example. 140,000 trips crossed the Mississippi River Bridge before the collapse, according to MnDOT’s Nick Thomson (presented at a seminar at the University of Minnesota), only 90,000 can be accounted for on other crossings.
Should Washington Avenue really be carrying traffic through campus? Should campus have a major thoroughfare in its midst?
From NYT (via Slashdot) Left-Hand-Turn Elimination UPS is trying to eliminate left-turns, which typically have more delay (and thus fuel consumption and air pollution) than through or right-turn movements. This of course should be true primarily at permitted rather than protected lefts, it wasn’t clear from the article whether UPS has signal timings in its database.
From the NYT: Management of Subways to Be Split
“The goal, Mr. Roberts said, is to have 24 subway lines operating in many ways as 24 self-contained railroads. (The number may vary, depending on how the lines are counted.) They will compete against one another and be rated on service, cleanliness, on-time performance and other measures.”
This is interesting. They are starting with lines that are isolated, which is smart. How they will deal with lines that interact (share track and platforms) will be interesting, and may be a true test of whether this kind of decentralization of responsibility can be made to work in such an integrated system.
From Techcrunch: Google Mobile Maps PinPoints Your Location Without GPS
This technology uses cell phone towers (and triangulation) to locate you. While not as perfect as GPS, it should be useful for general navigation, especially with added algorithms to smooth out the jumpyness. It is an idea long speculated on (in the transportation community see: this article by my late colleague YB Yim for a review and this for one of the earliest papers on the idea. ) that is finally seeing commercialization.