Thursday, February 26, 2009

Links

DMN: Spanish company wins job to rebuild LBJ Freeway. Unfortunately, though to not DEconstruct it. I have a friend that works for that company.

Wired gets on board the (pedestrian) Luv Train: It's Time to Favor People over Cars.

Papandreou called for an end to "state, federal, and local land use policies that are literally forcing people to have to drive" and told Wired.com we're on the cusp of an inevitable "mode shift" away from individual car ownership toward a greater reliance on mass transit and sustainable transport.

"We're already at that crossroads," he said.

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Car-friendly policies have created a "carbon shadow" that vehicles can't escape -- the result of "all of the regional consequences of all these policies and collective actions," he says. Instead of the "manufactured value" of personal car ownership, we should adopt "demand management" by creating disincentives for driving that will, in turn, encourage people to walk, ride mass transit, carpool and use other means of getting around.

In Papandreou's eyes, freeways are wasted space. Consider this: 200 people can jam the I-405 riding along in 177 cars (the average ratio). Or they could use just two lanes in three city buses, or have plenty of personal space around them if they rode bikes.

"All that road space could become something else," he said, stressing that the only way to achieve that vision is with a total "eco rehab" that avoids the sort of ineffective piecemeal programs that only survive due to their political popularity. The Obama Administration's economic stimulus package could be a first step toward that future.

"It's a down payment to a massive mortgage," Papandreou said. "I'm hoping that the stimulus gets the ball rolling."

Transit is essential during big events.
In case no one has noticed, there's a pretty good stadium in Anaheim where no professional football has been played in 15 years, even though there's a train station in the parking lot that accommodates about 40 Amtrak and Metrolink trains a day. It's no coincidence that the two big-city downtowns we at CP&DR decided were the best in California – San Diego and San Francisco – have great ballparks downtown right near transit stops.
GOOD Magazine compares subways and ridership, click on graphic or link to see full image (firefox is killing me this week) and notice the graphic to the right comparing the network of each image and how tightly-knit (or not) each system is...then notice the correlated ridership.