Archive | November, 2009

Tweaking the RTP for Climate Change

Metro is reporting that TPAC (Transportation Policy Alternatives Committee – the technocrats) had a discussion about the impacts of climate change policy on the Regional Transportation Plan, but the momentum still appears to be for the status quo on the project list:

Other TPAC members, while acknowledging the importance and urgency of reducing greenhouse gas emissions from transportation sources, opposed the additional modeling requirement on the grounds that the RTP is scheduled for adoption by ordinance in June 2010, which does not allow sufficient time to design a good model, let alone run it.

TPAC did adopt one amendment along the lines of (this is NOT the final language):

“Accepts the RTP project lists solely for the purposes of obtaining public comment and determining conformance with the Clean Air Act.”

But I’m not clear on the impact of this.

Mayor Adams was successful in getting MPAC (Metro Policy Advisory Committee) to adopt stronger amendments. Expect all of this to come to a head at JPACT (Joint Policy Advisory Committee on Transportation) [on December 10th, I think] before ultimately going to the Metro Council.

Google Controls the Value of Your House

This complaint off the Google Transit e-mail list today:

The walk score of the homes in Great Neck are artificially low in www.zillow.com which is a home valuation web sitedue to the fact that the MTA or the LIRR trains do not provide them with the transit data.

This has depressed the home prices in the area. It would be greatly appreciated if Google can help to correct this anomaly and ask MTA and LIRR to report the transit feeds for Great Neck, NY

Cul-de-sacs Kill!

Update: 11/20/09

The slides are now online.

Original Post: 11/5/09

I’m attending the Congress for New Urbanism Transportation Summit here in Portland this week (where I’ve had the opportunity to meet several other transportation bloggers!).

For me the highlight presentation on opening day on Wednesday was about the safety affects of different street network types.

The study was based on looking at all cities in California with population of 40,000 or greater. The surprising finding was that cities built before 1950 are safer (in terms of both serious injuries and fatalities for all classes of users: auto drivers/passengers, cyclists and pedestrians) than cities built after 1950.

The differences appears to be in the type of street network. Compact street grids seem to be safer, compared to the arterial-collector-local street ‘tree’ style of street network popular in post-war development.

This explains a lot here in Portland, particularly the difference in traffic safety between inner neighborhoods new parts of Portland near or east of 82nd Avenue (illustrated by an example from current news).

I’ll post a link to the research report when it’s available online.

Talking to Conservatives About Rail Transit

Streetfilms has a great video with William Lind, a conservative transit advocate, about how to talk about transit in terms that conservatives will appreciate.

I would also note that the late Paul Weyrich, who co-founded the Heritage Foundation, was a trail transit advocate, evening making that point while serving on an infrastructure panel for the Bush administration.

I note some scenes in this video from Portland, and local videographer Dan Kaufman appears in the credits.