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Public Works trying to shut down Bagby St. pedestrian-orientation after the fact?

From InnerLooped: Apparently, the [Bagby St. pedestrian improvements] project (already 100 days into construction) with city-approved plans that have been vetted by members of the community, is coming to a halt in a couple days. Yes, construction (and all work on Bagby) is about to stop (and remain in its current state). Why? Because the [...]

It’s a Gas

One thing I’ve always been really amused by is a bit of the history of how the early 20th century engineers thought about designing for automobiles. I imagine them sitting around a poker table smoking cigars, but maybe they were hovering around a chalkboard smoking pipes. It doesn’t really matter. A crude paraphrase of the [...]

Use the Transit Tax for Transit

David Crossley wrote an excellent editorial yesterday, which you can find here. His key point: 25% of the Houston region’s Transit Tax is diverted to highway projects, plus a very large percentage of METRO’s capital budget (outside of the 25% diversion of funds) has to be used to expand, improve, and otherwise rebuild streets that [...]

Austin to Houston Rail Link in the planning stages?

The Texas Tribute reports a study is underway on the possibility of a 3-hour rail link between Austin and Houston, although “not anytime soon.” Two thoughts: 1. I am an ardent, hard-core believer in Rail transit as a critical part of our urban and inter-urban infrastructure. But, 3 hours to Austin isn’t good enough. Not [...]

CNU’s take on the proposed parking ordinance changes

The following statement concerning the proposed changes to the City of Houston’s Parking Reg’s was posted at CNU-Houston.org today. I helped write the statement, so I thought I’d share it with this audience as well. Feel free to leave comments or questions and I’ll respond (on behalf of myself, not CNU) as much as I [...]

BRT in Austin?

Houstonians should keep a close eye on Austin’s BRT. The nationwide push for conservative government spending may reduce or end Houston’s light rail expansion. If that should come to pass, a stellar BRT will be one of the few remaining ways to prevent gridlock as Houston’s population grows over the next three decades.

Shifting Priorities on Automobiles

An interesting story I found today states that younger people are increasingly likely to put-off purchasing a personal automobile.  As the story points out, this is likely to have dire long-term consequences for an automobile industry already devastated by the “Great Recession.” This is not surprising.  The downturn in the economy has been especially rough [...]

What will HSR offer and is it worth the cost?

In a comment of his recent article, Tory Gattis asks, “…what will HSR offer that other modes can’t do right now, and is it worth the cost?”  Here are my replies. Rail offers a globally-proven, time-tested, long-lasting, resilient transportation infrastructure that is cost-competitive with paved highways when accounting for operational fuel costs and averaging over their respective designed lifetimes. [...]

World’s Longest Tunnel Completed

The world’s longest tunnel was completed today.  The Gotthard Tunnel runs 57 km (35 miles) underneath the Swiss Alps and will provide additional railway capacity for traffic running from Italy, through Switzerland, to Northern Europe.   Trains are expected to travel through the tunnel at 250 km/hr (155 mph) linking Zurich and Milan.  The tunnel will [...]

The Return of the Bubble Car

This week’s Economist had an interesting article on the return of the bubble car. I think the article is interesting; especially the bit about automated driving.  I also agree that most cars are clearly over engineered for what they are mainly used for on a day to day basis (i.e. daily driving within a city).  [...]