Moving Time

Moving boxes by carlaarena on Flickr

Posting’s been light the last couple of days because I’ve been moving from one house to another. No matter how many times I do it, I still forget what a pain it can be. Now that I’m finally settling into the new digs, there’s been a whole lot

Continue reading Moving Time

High Speed Notes

High Speed Rail seems to be the latest political sweepstakes – big prizes for those that go after some free money! Yonah Freemark has a nice critique of a recent nationwide high speed rail proposal, coming from a recently formed lobby pushing for a nationally integrated system.

The new association, however, is already pushing an

Continue reading High Speed Notes

It's a gas

Ryan Avent had a great post this weekend on the future of suburbs vis a vis their relationship with gas prices. Some great poins all around about how our physical environment will change with expensive oil:

So, first of all, there’s this:

We will, in time, return to 1970s and 1960s levels of air

Continue reading It's a gas


I’ve been going through some of Spiro Kostoff’s lectures from his teaching of a course at Cal in 1991. The lectures accompany Kostof’s research for his 1991 book The City Shaped. I mentioned the lectures previously here, but they really help illuminate Kostof’s book. The book is easily the best primer for the history and

Continue reading Lecturing…


VRE Train. Image from Ouij on Flickr.

Nobody would argue with the idea that DC’s commuter rail system could be better. Metro, however, is largely praised (disaster responses and publicity notwithstanding). However, Metro also gets attacked in some quarters for its hybrid nature as both an urban subway and a commuter rail system.


Continue reading Polycentricity

DC's odd-shaped public spaces needn't be awkward or neglected

Longfellow Monument. Photo by NCinDC on Flickr.

In terms of urban design, Washington DC is unique amongst American cities. Between the height limit and the monumental core, DC’s plan is befitting of a national capital. Grand avenues, civic spaces, and prominent monuments. L’Enfant’s grand plan was not just for the nation, but for the

Continue reading DC's odd-shaped public spaces needn't be awkward or neglected

Good News, Bad News

Some good news here in DC:

Ryan Avent notes that despite the recession, the District is still a popular destination for people moving in. It will be very interesting to see where DC’s population number ends up with the 2010 Census.

Bad news:

Construction within the District is way down from a year ago.


Continue reading Good News, Bad News

More investment, please.

It’s all a matter of time horizons. If you have a long term investment horizon, you can think big. If you’re thinking short term, you need something that makes an impact right away. As this applies to transit and transportation planning, it’s much easier to implement a service, such as a bus route than it

Continue reading More investment, please.

Future ideas for DC's commuter rail system

MARC Train. Image from J.H.Gray on Flickr

Washington, DC is blessed to have Metro – a great urban transit system. It’s probably the single best thing to happen to the city in the past 50 years – and even more notable considering the era it came from. When most cities were depopulating and building

Continue reading Future ideas for DC's commuter rail system

Counter-intuitive traffic

Perhaps the most confusing element in convincing the public about certain traffic improvements is the fact that traffic often behaves counter-intuitively. We often think of traffic like water – if you remove some capacity from a stream, that water has to go somewhere. In fact, traffic often behaves more like a gas – it expands

Continue reading Counter-intuitive traffic