Thursday, August 25, 2016

Podcast: Putting Dallas Back Together Again

Patrick Kennedy comes on the podcast this week to talk about what’s going on in Dallas. We discuss the highway removal campaign known as A New Dallas and the recent Texas DOT CityMap Plan to re-imagine the freeways and roads in the city’s downtown. We also discuss downtown subways, urban politics, why existing walkable neighborhoods matter to new walkable neighborhoods, and what’s going on with plans for the Trinity River.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Transit Trends Episode #6 with Lukas Neckermann

It’s safe to say the creation and rollout of autonomous vehicles is the hot topic of the transportation industry now. Each major car company has plans to move forward with these vehicles in the next five or so years. But how long will it actually takes us to adapt to the fact we may eventually ride around in vehicles that we only control the 5-10% of the time?

Podcast: Columbus, the Smartest City in the Land

Josh Lapp, a board member at the advocacy organization Transit Columbus, joins us this week to talk about Ohio’s capital city — how it’s becoming more urban, how its stadiums have been situated to support downtown growth and walkability, and how transportation options like light rail and bike-share are developing. And of course, you’ll hear about Columbus’s winning bid in U.S. DOT’s Smart City Challenge.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Podcast: Future Shared Mobility in Cities

This week we’ve got a fascinating discussion from the Live.Ride.Share conference in Denver earlier this year. Hear what representatives from NRDC, Uber, Lyft, and U.S. DOT think about the future of shared-use mobility systems, carpooling services, autonomous vehicles, and their impact on cities and greenhouse gases.
Speakers include:
  • Mark Dowd, deputy assistant secretary for research and technology at U.S. DOT
  • Amanda Eaken, deputy director of the Urban Solutions Program at NRDC
  • Emily Castor, director of transportation policy at Lyft
  • Jonathan Hall, head of economic research for public policy and litigation at Uber

Also check out the archives at Streetsblog USA.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Podcast: Cincinnati's Incomplete Subway

This week we're chatting with Jake Mecklenborg about his book Cincinnati's Incomplete Subway. It's a good one so check it out.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Guest Post: Court Access Lacking for Oakland Tenants Facing Eviction

This is a guest post by David Hall, a private practice lawyer who focuses on tenants rights in Oakland, California. 

So, the new presiding judge for Alameda county, decided, in his infinite wisdom, that Unlawful Detainer actions (evictions) should be centralized to the Hayward courthouse, despite the fact that Oakland is the largest city in the county with the highest population of renters (and thus defendants in eviction actions).

The Oakland courthouses are also within easy walking distance from BART.  Instead, the eviction trials are being held in Hayward, one of the farthest south cities in the county.

I decided to take BART and then walk to the courthouse today to see what my clients might experience. It is a 1.5 mile walk from the BART station. The route is confusing. It also involves a steep overpass over railroad tracks. I arrived at the courthouse drenched in sweat after a brisk half hour walk.

An elderly or mobility-impaired client probably wouldn't have made it. I am sickened by the sacrifice of the rights of tenants (particularly those in poverty) on the altar of judicial economy.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Transit Trends Episode #4

In this episode of Transit Trends, we sit down with Iain Macbeth of Transport For London and discuss how the information from a connected car can improve transportation systems worldwide.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Strava Biking and Walking Data for Planning?

There's been a few articles in the last few days about cities and planners using Strava data to help figure out what routes are popular among runners and cyclists.  I was worried about this approach given the types of people who are able to use apps versus others.  They tried to assuage our worries...
There were two obvious limitations to the idea of Strava Metro. The userbase is a small sample of all cyclists, and the app’s emphasis on competition tends to make them more likely to be Lycra-clad enthusiasts rather than everyday commuters and meanderers.

The company initially had the same worry. However, when authorities started buying the data and comparing it against their own information, they found Strava tended to capture a solid 5-10% of all bike movements. Moreover, they discovered that, especially in cities, those with the app tended to ride the same routes as everyone else.
I still worry that 5-10% number because there are a lot of routes in low income areas that might not get marked up. I actually chatted with Christy Kwan of the Alliance for Biking and Walking about this in a recent podcast.  If you check that out, we start talking about data overall at 19:45.  But  I cut out the 2 minutes of audio specifically talking about new measurement below in which she talked more about ways to measure walking and biking using technology.

I think what she says about the equity issue is important.  But it also brings to mind the discussion about the push and pull of privacy and creating good data that can be used for planning purposes.  You might not want companies to follow you around, but you do want better infrastructure spending.  It's a question I'm sure that will be discussed for years to come.