From Colin in Sydney, Aus
I've been reading a bunch of urbanist and transit blogs for the last few years, and discovered your blog a few weeks ago, and it's immediately become my favourite. Everybody in the field knows that the transport system is deeply linked with the very shape of the city, but you're the best at going further and deeper in the way you link it to the shape of the city *economy*. It's the most Jacobsian thing I've read outside of Jacobs. You've really fleshed out my understanding of this stuff, and reinforced my growing sense that so much of our road transport infrastructure is not just unnecessary, but quite ruinous of our economic performance, standard of living, and of course our social connections. I'm really digging it, and reading back through your archives.
I don't work in the field at all - it's just an interest of mine, but I just wanted to send you a note as a fan. I'm from Sydney, Australia by the way, a mostly suburban city of approx 5 million people, but with a reasonably sized intra-city rail system (think three or four times bigger than San Francisco's BART) that funnels people from their suburban homes into jobs in a tall and expensive downtown, which until recently had close to zero residents. We're not as fucked up as Dallas by the sound of it, but we're in the same ballpark. We have suburban freeways, but not too much in the way of urban freeways - for the most part they don't penetrate the downtown area. The downtown and the inner-city sub-urbs combine to form a small island of urbanity that is under constant pressure from the automotive Suburbs outside it, but in the last decade or so there has been a fightback of sorts as that urban centre has started to exert it's own outward pressure on the urban/suburban frontier. It's precariously balanced - interesting times.
Anyway, thanks again for your blog.