Transportation

Category archives for Transportation

This weekend, Los Angeles will close a 10-mile stretch of the 405 freeway for 53 hours so work crews can conduct demolition that will enable widening of the freeway. Locals are referring to the planned closure as “Carmageddon,” anticipating gridlock on nearby roadways that remain open. The hope is that the short-term pain will bring…

Yesterday I mentioned sewer systems as an indispensable part of urban infrastructure, and today I want to focus on the more visible issue of transportation. The efficiency with which people and goods move into and within cities has a huge impact on both energy use and air quality. And the availability of non-driving modes of…

Roadtrip observations of workers safety (sort of) during highway construction

I recently logged 1,300 miles in a rented white PT Cruiser traveling on I-94 from Chicago to Milwaukee and Madison, WI, down I-65 and I-74 to Cincinnati and up I-75 to Detroit. Along the way I saw dozens of road construction projects to expand traffic lanes, repair overpasses, and repave the road surface. Workers were…

Aging and Transportation

The New York Times’ latest “Room for Debate” discussion is entitled “2025: A Lot of Old People on the Roads,” and it introduces the topic this way: …the number of drivers 70 and over is expected to triple in the next 20 years in the United States. Older drivers are more likely to be injured,…

Earlier this month, I was able to attend the final day of the Association for the Study of Peak Oil & Gas (ASPO) USA conference, and it reminded me how far behind we are in preparing for a future in which oil is less readily available than it is now. Sharon Astyk, who’s an ASPO…

Happy Car-Free Day!

September 22nd is World Car-Free Day, when people everywhere are encouraged to get out of their cars and try different modes of getting around. The Metro DC Car-Free Day is also encouraging people to try “Car-Lite” options like carpooling, or to eliminate the need for a trip to the office by working from home. They’re…

Light Rail and Obesity in one NC City

As we try to figure out how to curb an unhealthy increase in obesity, one of the factors under consideration is the built environment. Those who in live in places where few destinations are within walking/biking distance, public transit is limited, and the environment is unfriendly to pedestrians and cyclists may find it harder to…

Riding the (Crowded) Rails

When I visited Shanghai a few years ago, one of my favorite moments was riding the maglev train from the airport to a Metro station on the outskirts of the city. As I recall, its speed got up to around 250 mph – a counter in each car displayed the speed, and the numbers changed…

In the New York Times, Abby Goodnough and Katie Zezima highlight the problem of “drugged driving,” or driving while under the influence of a drug that impairs driving ability: The behavioral effects of prescription medication vary widely, depending not just on the drug but on the person taking it. Some, like anti-anxiety drugs, can dull…

Senator Chris Dodd held a hearing yesterday to discuss his Livable Communities Act, which would provide grant funding for communities to plan and implement strategies to improve livability. In his statement, he explains: This legislation will provide resources for comprehensive planning. The design of our communities is often seen as primarily a local issue, but…