Current Projects

Host: Talking Headways Podcast
Host and produce a weekly podcast on issues related to urban development and transportation at  The podcast averages over 2,500 listeners per episode.

Owner And Curator: The Overhead Wire Daily Website and Email
Each weekday I go through 1,500 news and blog items on cities pulling the most interesting and engaging in five topic areas; Transportation, Urbanism, Urban Issues, Environment and Ecology, and Research.  The daily email, which has been going for 14 years, is sent out to over 1,800 readers daily.  Through this process I have been able to develop working knowledge of many of the largest urban areas in the United States and many abroad. 

Tweet @TheOverheadWire
With over 1800,000 followers, this is one of the most prolific twitter accounts for daily news on transportation and city issues in the United States. 


2011 Mass Transit Magazine Top 40 Under 40

Conferences and Appearances

Rail~Volution Conference Speaker 2006-2020
Have spoken on new media and blogging at the Rail~Volution conference each year since 2006.

New York Times Cities of Tomorrow Speaker - Apr 2014
Gave a 5 minute presentation on light rail in cities around the United States

Radio and News Appearances

Why Austin's ‘Rail Fail’ in 2000 Still Resonates Today  - KUT - NPR Austin - 2014

Commuting Apps, Technology Take on Urban Traffic - CBC News - 2015

Most Encouraging News of 2014, Part Three - CQ Roll Call - Dec 2014

Why Nashville Voters Rejected Public Transit - Wired Magazine May 2018

Scott Wiener Thinks He Knows How to Fix the Housing Crisis - Governing Magazine May 2018

Koch Brothers Hate Public Transit - Grist June 2018

9 Cities with Smart Ideas to Improve Transportation - Curbed September 2018

Minneapolis City Council Approves 2040 Comprehensive Plan - Minneapolis Star Tribune November 2018

Past Reports and Papers


Hercules Aerial Tram, Mobility Study and Report
Researched and developed a report on the feasibility for Aerial Trams in Hercules California. 

TOD 101: Why Transit Oriented Development and Why Now?

Developed graphics such as charts and maps for this seminal work created for the Federal Transit Administration.

Realizing the Potential: Expanding Housing Opportunities Near Transit

Developed maps, graphics, and performed data analysis for Five Transit Corridors in this report done for the Federal Transit Administration and Department of Housing and Urban Development.  This was one of the first projects these two agencies worked on together and a precursor to the Partnership for Livable Communities.  My work on analyzing transit corridors was also the impetus for future work in the TOD 203: Transit Corridors document.

The pie charts I created for Hidden in Plain Sight displaying affordability’s relationship to transportation costs based on regional location have been used in numerous reports and keynote speeches by urban planners and developers around the country to easily point out the importance of transportation costs on affordability. 

Book - Street Smart: Streetcars and Cities in the 21st Century

Co-wrote Chapter 5 case studies on Streetcars projects in four different cities.  Located and procured images from photographers including the cover image in addition to creating maps, diagrams, and charts for the book.

MTC Station Area Planning Manual
Created layout, procured images, and developed place type charts/checklists for the Metropolitan Transportation Commission’s Station Area Planning Manual.  The manual is currently used as the base of many other planning efforts in the Bay Area.


Preserving Opportunities: Saving Affordable Housing Near Transit
Created frequent transit network routes in GIS and built maps that showed the proximity of federally subsidized affordable housing to frequent transit to determine preservation needs.  Data from the GIS analysis was used to estimate the number of expiring Section 8/202 housing contracts near transit.  This report was done in partnership with the National Housing Trust.

TOD 202: Station Area Planning
Developed for the Federal Transit Administration, this manual was created using the MTC Station Area Planning Manual as a template and created a baseline guide for the FTA to share with grantees and others around the country.  My graphics including the place type charts and affordability pie charts are in the document.  This report was written by Gloria Ohland

TOD 202: Transit + Employment
This document developed for the Federal Transit Administration.  Written with Dena Belzer and Ellen Greenberg, I was responsible for creating pie charts, graphs, and maps that were described in the text.  This is one of the first documents for which I developed employment center maps using LEHD data.

TCRP 128: Effects of TOD on Parking and Travel
Written by Robert Cervero and GB Arrington, parts of this report used data from the National TOD Database and station location data that I had extracted for research consumption.

National TOD Database 
In 2004 for a document called Hidden in Plain Sight, the Center for Neighborhood Technology developed a database of every fixed guideway transit station in the United States.  Subsequent updates included digitizing station locations and adding possible station locations.  Over many years I updated station locations and included new systems that were in the planning stages.  CNT was responsible for finalization of the data. 

Somerville:  Opportunities for Equitable Transit Oriented Development
Worked with the Somerville Community Corporation to identify opportunities for affordable housing near transit, specifically the green line extension from Boston.  I did the data analysis and built maps to support discussion and arguments.  The most innovative work from this was to use parcel data to look at changes in values over time near transit stations.


Website Construction and Coordination
Worked on the Website Development Committee to design Reconnecting America website which included a map room and several popular blogs curated by myself and colleague John Hughes.

Also curated and developed the best practices database, which catalogued over 600 research papers and documents related to TOD.

Realizing the Potential: One Year Later
As a follow up to the first report for FTA/HUD, we looked at changes in development along the five corridors we looked at in the initial study.  I developed maps to show progress of development and included a new map view to show the intensity of development on each corridor.

Jumpstarting the Transit Space Race
Developed a method for cataloguing every planned transit project in the United States.  From this database I came up with a total capital project cost for planned transit.  The final report was co-written with Gloria Ohland.

Destinations Matter: Building Transit Success
This report looked at the relationship between transit ridership on new light rail lines built after 2003 in the United States and jobs connected.  Using GIS, I charted the number of jobs against ridership showing a positive relationship between the two.  A later TCRP peer reviewed paper was written and presented at the 2009 APTA Light Rail Conference.  For many years TOD had only looked at housing considerations, but this paper showed that employment should be an important decision when looking at transit alignments.  Shelley Poticha and Mariia Zimmerman edited this report.

Book - Transit Oriented Development: Making It Happen

Edited by John Renne, Carey Curtis, and Luca Bertolini, this book included a chapter on affordable housing near transit written by Shelley Poticha and myself.

Connecting Transportation and Land Use Systems in Minneapolis St. Paul
Created maps and charts to determine the walkability of a number of Twin Cities employment centers.  This work was done with Elizabeth Wampler and Sam Zimbabwe.

Preserving Affordability and Access in Livable Communities: Subsidized Housing Opportunities Near Transit and the 50+ Population
Created maps and analyzed data on federally subsidized housing units near transit.  Digitized frequent transit routes and created data tables for the report generated from GIS analysis.  This report was written by The National Housing Trust, the AARP Public Policy Institute and Reconnecting America.

Value Capture And Tax-Increment Financing Options For Streetcar Construction
Wrote three case studies on development change related to streetcar construction.  Used parcel data from Tampa, Portland, and Seattle to map and analyze land value changes over time.  Important findings include the need for large amounts of vacant and underutilized land to create value. This report was part of a larger one created to look at the potential for redevelopment along the H Street corridor of the DC streetcar line. 


Los Angeles TOD Toolkit and Typology
Helped develop typology matrix and graphics in addition to the main basemap for this project funded by Caltrans and LA Metro.

Preserving Affordable Housing Near Transit: Case Studies
Developed basemap for Seattle’s Link Light Rail Line that showed alignment and mapped HUD subsidized affordable housing units.

Performance Based Transit Oriented Development Typology Guidebook
Oversaw the development of layout, graphics including charts and maps, and made final document edits. This document, funded by the Rockefeller Foundation lays out a data driven tool that shows the relationship between density, land uses, and vehicle miles traveled in every station area in the United States at the time. 

TOD 203: Transit Corridors and TOD
Developed transit corridor types that were analyzed in this document.  I also developed most of the maps and corridor diagrams.


Jumpstarting the Transit Space Race 2011 and 2013
Researched and wrote this document cataloging every since planned fixed guideway transit line in the United States.  We looked at transit types, capital costs, and other data points that would be charted and analyzed.  The project and subsequent map developed with John Hughes were the most visited pages on the Reconnecting America website. 

Portland TOD Strategic Plan
Was on the team that developed this document creating a strategic plan for TOD at Portland Metro.  The document allowed Metro to prioritize and allocate resources for planning and incentivizing development near station areas whose numbers were continuing to grow with the same budget.


The Denver Regional Equity Atlas
Led cartography and data collection efforts for the development of this atlas.  The project looked at the intersection of transit investments and other important local issues such as employment, affordable housing, education and more. 

Preservation in Transit-Oriented Districts: A Study on the Need, Priorities, and Tools in Protecting Assisted and Unassisted Housing in the City of Los Angeles
Co-wrote and did data analysis and mapping for the Los Angeles Housing Department looking at the preservation of naturally occurring affordable housing.   


Are We There Yet? Creating Complete Communities for 21st Century America
Participated in development of report including developing four categories for overall framing. Helped develop new geography called an “opportunity area” for analysis in this report.

Los Angeles Equity Atlas
Led mapping and data analysis for the development of this equity atlas.  Also researched and developed fact sheets for the final report.  This project looked at how different issues such as affordable housing and health would be affected by a massive investment in transit infrastructure in Los Angeles.

Reports and Projects Completed as The Overhead Wire


Podcast Episode - Walt Disney, City Planner - Created for The Overhead Wire
Wrote and produced a more in depth podcast episode called Walt Disney, City Planner. The episode looked at Walt Disney’s plans for building new cities and urban form from scratch.

Podcast Episode - Level of Disservice - Created for NRDC
Wrote and produced this in depth podcast episode about the traffic engineering metric Level of Service, which is soon to be overhauled by the State of California.


Toolkit for Preserving Affordable Homes Near Transit - CHPC
Continued map development for MTC project in partnership with CHPC which picked up previous work done by Reconnecting America.

Podcast Episode - Remaking California Transportation - Created for NRDC
Wrote and produced this in depth podcast episode about the long history of laws and policies promoting the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions through transportation planning in California. 

TCRP 182: Linking Transit Agencies and Land Use Decision Making
Wrote case studies and did research for this TCRP paper on the history of the Portland Streetcar and Cleveland’s Health Line Bus Rapid Transit project.

No comments: