Fantastical Transportation Options

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ajhorowitz
Fantastical Transportation Options

TMIPers,

My latest blog post does not summarize well, so I decided to give you the whole thing here.  You can find all my blog posts at: http://ajhassoc.com/index.php/blog/

Fantastical Transportation Options

Warning:  Sarcasm ahead.

Goodyear has apparently just invented a wheel that would allow a regular-looking car to fly.  They are helping us baby boomers realize a dream from the pages of Popular Mechanics from the 1950s.  An Intel guy says, quite seriously, flying cars will be here in five years.  Uber agrees.  Just think, instead of miserably slogging through stop-and-go traffic in jammed freeway lanes, we will be able to miserably slog through stop-and-go traffic in jammed air lanes.  Such is progress.  I am OK with the idea, just so long as I am no higher than two feet in elevation and I can literally drag my foot when I need to stop suddenly.  I am reminded that the required spacing between smaller jet planes when approaching an airport under VFR conditions is 3 nautical miles, a slightly higher spacing than the 1/45 mile for a freeway lane at capacity.  Oh, and the fuel economy of a helicopter with the same payload as a Prius is only 6 times worse.

I am disappointed to see no major cities in the US yet connected by maglev trains.  Maglev promised exceptionally high-speed operations, maybe competitive to airlines.  Oops, all real implementations of maglev to date have performance characteristics similar to good conventional rail.  Perhaps 300 mph technology is not all that well suited to ½ mile station spacings.  Maybe we haven’t been ambitious enough.  California might be persuaded to consider maglev for revitalizing their high-speed rail project.  Then if we were to connect it to a system from San Diego to El Paso, it could do double duty as a wall, eliminating a lot of expensive grade crossings with long bridge spans!  This could be the political compromise we have all been waiting for.  A PPP would make it even more attractive.  We should ask Elon Musk for his list of Tesla investors; they will invest in anything with enough tech appeal.

Speaking of Tesla, since maglev is now a proven concept, we need to go the next step and start building Elon Musk’s hyperloop train everywhere.  Could this be the solution to our transportation woes?  155 mph operation with an autonomous vehicle?  I’m sold!  Unfortunately, Musk’s concept is not a good candidate for my proposed San Diego to El Paso line.  Too many spots for grade crossings.

Last week, a journal sent me a paper to review, and that paper assumed these obvious benefits of autonomous vehicles before plunging into some heavy network theory:

    Autonomous vehicles will greatly increase the capacity of traffic lanes;
    Autonomous vehicles will greatly reduce a driver’s subjective value of time;
    Autonomous vehicles will greatly improve fuel efficiency; and
    Autonomous vehicles will not do anything for passenger safety, or at least not enough to merit any mention by these authors.

Of course, none of this was backed up by analyses or empirical studies.  I am thinking these assumptions must have been drawn from conventional wisdom.  Great!  Let’s base all our academic research on conventional wisdom.  It’s lots easier than actually doing background research.  I opted out of writing a review.

It would be far better for these concepts if we were to ignore principles of traffic flow, driver behavior, traveler behavior, political constraints, safety, and community impacts.  I propose a $10 million research project devoted entirely to finding ways to suspend these inconveniences.  If you are from FTA or FHWA, please write the check directly to me, personally.  I will deliver the final report soon after we build our border rail project.  However, I do not propose to suspend the laws of physics.  One must have some degree of integrity!

It was just announced that Uber will not be charged with a crime for the March 18, 2018 crash of a self-driving car that killed a pedestrian.  It seems Arizona has no laws to prevent unsafe operation of autonomous vehicles.  There was an undisclosed settlement between Uber and the victim’s family, and litigation is continuing between the family and the City of Tempe.  However, this litigation does not involve the self-driving aspects of the car; rather the suit boringly relates to alleged roadway design flaws.  We are starving for case law on autonomous vehicles.  It is clear to me that we need completely unregulated environments, such as was brilliantly created by Arizona, for operating these vehicles so we can build up case law as quickly as possible.  To further speed deployment, we should lobby Congress to give big subsidies to self-driving car owners, just as it does now for electric vehicles.  This will insure us a huge self-driving fleet well before we have the laws and infrastructure to accommodate it.  We will be grateful for all those wrongful death lawsuits, so we can upgrade our benefit-cost studies.

As my mother would say, “Goodness gracious”, we are fortunate to be at the cutting edge of so many interesting technologies.

Alan Horowitz, Chapel Hill, March 12, 2019

Notes:

Honestly, my mother never said goodness anything in her life.  Had she been asked, she would likely have said, “what a big load of crap!”.

I grew up in Arizona.  I know first-hand how brilliant the state government can be.

Claire Bozic

Thank you - a nice laugh for midweek and proves the theory that the funniest comedy is comedy based on truth.  

xetuhepeb

While I agree that much of what is going on in the investment/mobility/technology field comes across as fantastical, I think the important takeaway to consider is that, well, at least something is being done that may end up helping to create a safe, sustainable and efficient transportation system.

What has been accomplished in my professional lifetime? Some car free zones, a handful of safe cycle paths, some toll roads, a few BRTs and some rail lines. At scale, the benefits are limited at best. Whether real or not, people certainly perceive that traffic congestion, the ‘clutter’ of cars is the same or worse. The past approach of government/researchers to make major improvements is not the way forward. It certainly has a place, but it is has not proven to create the major changes sought.

Sure, I read plenty of articles about how scooters will solve global climate change, how helicopters or a tunnel under LA will solve our problems. You and I know that is not the case, and we can throw sarcasm at these efforts—but what IS really valuable is that tons of money is being invested in this area with the goal of making a safer, sustainable and more efficient transportation system while making profits (at some point). That wasn’t happening before. And, it’s very important that researchers and transportation planners embrace and add to the conversation. I’ve been tempted many times to naysay much of what is going on, but I have faith that, at some point, things will coalesce around some significant improvements. Changes to technology have frequently been left out or badly represented in our forecasts—internet, working remotely, fuel pricing and technologies, airbags, etc---but when they do happen, they have tended to have, dare I say it, much more of an impact on traffic flow, environment, safety than what is traditionally planned.

Embrace what is going on. It is a revolution before our eyes. Sit, admire and appreciate. Place your thoughts around ideas that will help to channel what is going on towards real change.

Michael

Michael Clarke
President & CEO

[cid:image002.png@01D3A3FA.CCFED2C0]
www.citilabs.com
P: (+1) 888 770 2823
F: (+1) 888 771 2823

From: on behalf of ajhorowitz
Date: Wednesday, March 13, 2019 at 8:28 AM
To: TMIP
Subject: [TMIP] Fantastical Transportation Options

TMIPers,

My latest blog post does not summarize well, so I decided to give you the whole thing here. You can find all my blog posts at: http://ajhassoc.com/index.php/blog/

Fantastical Transportation Options

Warning: Sarcasm ahead.

Goodyear has apparently just invented a wheel that would allow a regular-looking car to fly. They are helping us baby boomers realize a dream from the pages of Popular Mechanics from the 1950s. An Intel guy says, quite seriously, flying cars will be here in five years. Uber agrees. Just think, instead of miserably slogging through stop-and-go traffic in jammed freeway lanes, we will be able to miserably slog through stop-and-go traffic in jammed air lanes. Such is progress. I am OK with the idea, just so long as I am no higher than two feet in elevation and I can literally drag my foot when I need to stop suddenly. I am reminded that the required spacing between smaller jet planes when approaching an airport under VFR conditions is 3 nautical miles, a slightly higher spacing than the 1/45 mile for a freeway lane at capacity. Oh, and the fuel economy of a helicopter with the same payload as a Prius is only 6 times worse.

I am disappointed to see no major cities in the US yet connected by maglev trains. Maglev promised exceptionally high-speed operations, maybe competitive to airlines. Oops, all real implementations of maglev to date have performance characteristics similar to good conventional rail. Perhaps 300 mph technology is not all that well suited to ½ mile station spacings. Maybe we haven’t been ambitious enough. California might be persuaded to consider maglev for revitalizing their high-speed rail project. Then if we were to connect it to a system from San Diego to El Paso, it could do double duty as a wall, eliminating a lot of expensive grade crossings with long bridge spans! This could be the political compromise we have all been waiting for. A PPP would make it even more attractive. We should ask Elon Musk for his list of Tesla investors; they will invest in anything with enough tech appeal.

Speaking of Tesla, since maglev is now a proven concept, we need to go the next step and start building Elon Musk’s hyperloop train everywhere. Could this be the solution to our transportation woes? 155 mph operation with an autonomous vehicle? I’m sold! Unfortunately, Musk’s concept is not a good candidate for my proposed San Diego to El Paso line. Too many spots for grade crossings.

Last week, a journal sent me a paper to review, and that paper assumed these obvious benefits of autonomous vehicles before plunging into some heavy network theory:

Autonomous vehicles will greatly increase the capacity of traffic lanes;
Autonomous vehicles will greatly reduce a driver’s subjective value of time;
Autonomous vehicles will greatly improve fuel efficiency; and
Autonomous vehicles will not do anything for passenger safety, or at least not enough to merit any mention by these authors.

Of course, none of this was backed up by analyses or empirical studies. I am thinking these assumptions must have been drawn from conventional wisdom. Great! Let’s base all our academic research on conventional wisdom. It’s lots easier than actually doing background research. I opted out of writing a review.

It would be far better for these concepts if we were to ignore principles of traffic flow, driver behavior, traveler behavior, political constraints, safety, and community impacts. I propose a $10 million research project devoted entirely to finding ways to suspend these inconveniences. If you are from FTA or FHWA, please write the check directly to me, personally. I will deliver the final report soon after we build our border rail project. However, I do not propose to suspend the laws of physics. One must have some degree of integrity!

It was just announced that Uber will not be charged with a crime for the March 18, 2018 crash of a self-driving car that killed a pedestrian. It seems Arizona has no laws to prevent unsafe operation of autonomous vehicles. There was an undisclosed settlement between Uber and the victim’s family, and litigation is continuing between the family and the City of Tempe. However, this litigation does not involve the self-driving aspects of the car; rather the suit boringly relates to alleged roadway design flaws. We are starving for case law on autonomous vehicles. It is clear to me that we need completely unregulated environments, such as was brilliantly created by Arizona, for operating these vehicles so we can build up case law as quickly as possible. To further speed deployment, we should lobby Congress to give big subsidies to self-driving car owners, just as it does now for electric vehicles. This will insure us a huge self-driving fleet well before we have the laws and infrastructure to accommodate it. We will be grateful for all those wrongful death lawsuits, so we can upgrade our benefit-cost studies.

As my mother would say, “Goodness gracious”, we are fortunate to be at the cutting edge of so many interesting technologies.

Alan Horowitz, Chapel Hill, March 12, 2019

Notes:

Honestly, my mother never said goodness anything in her life. Had she been asked, she would likely have said, “what a big load of crap!”.

I grew up in Arizona. I know first-hand how brilliant the state government can be.
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n_mcguckin@rock...

This said it all for me:
"Embrace what is going on. It is a revolution before our eyes. Sit, admire and appreciate. Place your thoughts around ideas that will help to channel what is going on towards real change."

Thank you Michael!  Nice perspective!

Nancy McGuckinTravel Behavior Analyst
(323) 257-5144
N_McGuckin@Rocketmail.com
website: www.travelbehavior.us

On Wednesday, March 13, 2019, 10:57:27 AM PDT, xetuhepeb wrote:

While I agree that much of what is going on in the investment/mobility/technology field comes across as fantastical, I think the important takeaway to consider is that, well, at least something is being done that may end up helping to create a safe, sustainable and efficient transportation system.

What has been accomplished in my professional lifetime? Some car free zones, a handful of safe cycle paths, some toll roads, a few BRTs and some rail lines. At scale, the benefits are limited at best. Whether real or not, people certainly perceive that traffic congestion, the ‘clutter’ of cars is the same or worse. The past approach of government/researchers to make major improvements is not the way forward. It certainly has a place, but it is has not proven to create the major changes sought.

Sure, I read plenty of articles about how scooters will solve global climate change, how helicopters or a tunnel under LA will solve our problems. You and I know that is not the case, and we can throw sarcasm at these efforts—but what IS really valuable is that tons of money is being invested in this area with the goal of making a safer, sustainable and more efficient transportation system while making profits (at some point). That wasn’t happening before. And, it’s very important that researchers and transportation planners embrace and add to the conversation. I’ve been tempted many times to naysay much of what is going on, but I have faith that, at some point, things will coalesce around some significant improvements. Changes to technology have frequently been left out or badly represented in our forecasts—internet, working remotely, fuel pricing and technologies, airbags, etc---but when they do happen, they have tended to have, dare I say it, much more of an impact on traffic flow, environment, safety than what is traditionally planned.

Embrace what is going on. It is a revolution before our eyes. Sit, admire and appreciate. Place your thoughts around ideas that will help to channel what is going on towards real change.

Michael

Michael Clarke
President & CEO

[cid:image002.png@01D3A3FA.CCFED2C0]
www.citilabs.com
P: (+1) 888 770 2823
F: (+1) 888 771 2823

From: on behalf of ajhorowitz
Date: Wednesday, March 13, 2019 at 8:28 AM
To: TMIP
Subject: [TMIP] Fantastical Transportation Options

TMIPers,

My latest blog post does not summarize well, so I decided to give you the whole thing here. You can find all my blog posts at: http://ajhassoc.com/index.php/blog/

Fantastical Transportation Options

Warning: Sarcasm ahead.

Goodyear has apparently just invented a wheel that would allow a regular-looking car to fly. They are helping us baby boomers realize a dream from the pages of Popular Mechanics from the 1950s. An Intel guy says, quite seriously, flying cars will be here in five years. Uber agrees. Just think, instead of miserably slogging through stop-and-go traffic in jammed freeway lanes, we will be able to miserably slog through stop-and-go traffic in jammed air lanes. Such is progress. I am OK with the idea, just so long as I am no higher than two feet in elevation and I can literally drag my foot when I need to stop suddenly. I am reminded that the required spacing between smaller jet planes when approaching an airport under VFR conditions is 3 nautical miles, a slightly higher spacing than the 1/45 mile for a freeway lane at capacity. Oh, and the fuel economy of a helicopter with the same payload as a Prius is only 6 times worse.

I am disappointed to see no major cities in the US yet connected by maglev trains. Maglev promised exceptionally high-speed operations, maybe competitive to airlines. Oops, all real implementations of maglev to date have performance characteristics similar to good conventional rail. Perhaps 300 mph technology is not all that well suited to ½ mile station spacings. Maybe we haven’t been ambitious enough. California might be persuaded to consider maglev for revitalizing their high-speed rail project. Then if we were to connect it to a system from San Diego to El Paso, it could do double duty as a wall, eliminating a lot of expensive grade crossings with long bridge spans! This could be the political compromise we have all been waiting for. A PPP would make it even more attractive. We should ask Elon Musk for his list of Tesla investors; they will invest in anything with enough tech appeal.

Speaking of Tesla, since maglev is now a proven concept, we need to go the next step and start building Elon Musk’s hyperloop train everywhere. Could this be the solution to our transportation woes? 155 mph operation with an autonomous vehicle? I’m sold! Unfortunately, Musk’s concept is not a good candidate for my proposed San Diego to El Paso line. Too many spots for grade crossings.

Last week, a journal sent me a paper to review, and that paper assumed these obvious benefits of autonomous vehicles before plunging into some heavy network theory:

Autonomous vehicles will greatly increase the capacity of traffic lanes;
Autonomous vehicles will greatly reduce a driver’s subjective value of time;
Autonomous vehicles will greatly improve fuel efficiency; and
Autonomous vehicles will not do anything for passenger safety, or at least not enough to merit any mention by these authors.

Of course, none of this was backed up by analyses or empirical studies. I am thinking these assumptions must have been drawn from conventional wisdom. Great! Let’s base all our academic research on conventional wisdom. It’s lots easier than actually doing background research. I opted out of writing a review.

It would be far better for these concepts if we were to ignore principles of traffic flow, driver behavior, traveler behavior, political constraints, safety, and community impacts. I propose a $10 million research project devoted entirely to finding ways to suspend these inconveniences. If you are from FTA or FHWA, please write the check directly to me, personally. I will deliver the final report soon after we build our border rail project. However, I do not propose to suspend the laws of physics. One must have some degree of integrity!

It was just announced that Uber will not be charged with a crime for the March 18, 2018 crash of a self-driving car that killed a pedestrian. It seems Arizona has no laws to prevent unsafe operation of autonomous vehicles. There was an undisclosed settlement between Uber and the victim’s family, and litigation is continuing between the family and the City of Tempe. However, this litigation does not involve the self-driving aspects of the car; rather the suit boringly relates to alleged roadway design flaws. We are starving for case law on autonomous vehicles. It is clear to me that we need completely unregulated environments, such as was brilliantly created by Arizona, for operating these vehicles so we can build up case law as quickly as possible. To further speed deployment, we should lobby Congress to give big subsidies to self-driving car owners, just as it does now for electric vehicles. This will insure us a huge self-driving fleet well before we have the laws and infrastructure to accommodate it. We will be grateful for all those wrongful death lawsuits, so we can upgrade our benefit-cost studies.

As my mother would say, “Goodness gracious”, we are fortunate to be at the cutting edge of so many interesting technologies.

Alan Horowitz, Chapel Hill, March 12, 2019

Notes:

Honestly, my mother never said goodness anything in her life. Had she been asked, she would likely have said, “what a big load of crap!”.

I grew up in Arizona. I know first-hand how brilliant the state government can be.
--
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KenCervenka

Well, Alan’s original post at least made me smile.

Regardless of how any of us might “feel” about the “probability” that any particular “new technology” will ever become common-place, and if so when (e.g., autonomous vehicles are already in operation, but will it be less than 20 years, or many more than 20 years from now before they become a 50-plus percentage of all urban or rural traffic), I sure hope we can find good (and relatively inexpensive) ways to monitor what is actually changing from one year to the next, about “activity to activity person travel by mode.”
Ken C.

From: n_mcguckin=rocketmail.com@mg.tmip.org [mailto:n_mcguckin=rocketmail.com@mg.tmip.org] On Behalf Of n_mcguckin@rocketmail.com
Sent: Wednesday, March 13, 2019 3:34 PM
To: TMIP
Subject: Re: [TMIP] Fantastical Transportation Options

This said it all for me:
"Embrace what is going on. It is a revolution before our eyes. Sit, admire and appreciate. Place your thoughts around ideas that will help to channel what is going on towards real change."

Thank you Michael! Nice perspective!

Nancy McGuckinTravel Behavior Analyst
(323) 257-5144
N_McGuckin@Rocketmail.com
website: www.travelbehavior.us

On Wednesday, March 13, 2019, 10:57:27 AM PDT, xetuhepeb wrote:

While I agree that much of what is going on in the investment/mobility/technology field comes across as fantastical, I think the important takeaway to consider is that, well, at least something is being done that may end up helping to create a safe, sustainable and efficient transportation system.

What has been accomplished in my professional lifetime? Some car free zones, a handful of safe cycle paths, some toll roads, a few BRTs and some rail lines. At scale, the benefits are limited at best. Whether real or not, people certainly perceive that traffic congestion, the ‘clutter’ of cars is the same or worse. The past approach of government/researchers to make major improvements is not the way forward. It certainly has a place, but it is has not proven to create the major changes sought.

Sure, I read plenty of articles about how scooters will solve global climate change, how helicopters or a tunnel under LA will solve our problems. You and I know that is not the case, and we can throw sarcasm at these efforts—but what IS really valuable is that tons of money is being invested in this area with the goal of making a safer, sustainable and more efficient transportation system while making profits (at some point). That wasn’t happening before. And, it’s very important that researchers and transportation planners embrace and add to the conversation. I’ve been tempted many times to naysay much of what is going on, but I have faith that, at some point, things will coalesce around some significant improvements. Changes to technology have frequently been left out or badly represented in our forecasts—internet, working remotely, fuel pricing and technologies, airbags, etc---but when they do happen, they have tended to have, dare I say it, much more of an impact on traffic flow, environment, safety than what is traditionally planned.

Embrace what is going on. It is a revolution before our eyes. Sit, admire and appreciate. Place your thoughts around ideas that will help to channel what is going on towards real change.

Michael

Michael Clarke
President & CEO

[cid:image002.png@01D3A3FA.CCFED2C0]
www.citilabs.com
P: (+1) 888 770 2823
F: (+1) 888 771 2823

From: on behalf of ajhorowitz
Date: Wednesday, March 13, 2019 at 8:28 AM
To: TMIP
Subject: [TMIP] Fantastical Transportation Options

TMIPers,

My latest blog post does not summarize well, so I decided to give you the whole thing here. You can find all my blog posts at: http://ajhassoc.com/index.php/blog/

Fantastical Transportation Options

Warning: Sarcasm ahead.

Goodyear has apparently just invented a wheel that would allow a regular-looking car to fly. They are helping us baby boomers realize a dream from the pages of Popular Mechanics from the 1950s. An Intel guy says, quite seriously, flying cars will be here in five years. Uber agrees. Just think, instead of miserably slogging through stop-and-go traffic in jammed freeway lanes, we will be able to miserably slog through stop-and-go traffic in jammed air lanes. Such is progress. I am OK with the idea, just so long as I am no higher than two feet in elevation and I can literally drag my foot when I need to stop suddenly. I am reminded that the required spacing between smaller jet planes when approaching an airport under VFR conditions is 3 nautical miles, a slightly higher spacing than the 1/45 mile for a freeway lane at capacity. Oh, and the fuel economy of a helicopter with the same payload as a Prius is only 6 times worse.

I am disappointed to see no major cities in the US yet connected by maglev trains. Maglev promised exceptionally high-speed operations, maybe competitive to airlines. Oops, all real implementations of maglev to date have performance characteristics similar to good conventional rail. Perhaps 300 mph technology is not all that well suited to ½ mile station spacings. Maybe we haven’t been ambitious enough. California might be persuaded to consider maglev for revitalizing their high-speed rail project. Then if we were to connect it to a system from San Diego to El Paso, it could do double duty as a wall, eliminating a lot of expensive grade crossings with long bridge spans! This could be the political compromise we have all been waiting for. A PPP would make it even more attractive. We should ask Elon Musk for his list of Tesla investors; they will invest in anything with enough tech appeal.

Speaking of Tesla, since maglev is now a proven concept, we need to go the next step and start building Elon Musk’s hyperloop train everywhere. Could this be the solution to our transportation woes? 155 mph operation with an autonomous vehicle? I’m sold! Unfortunately, Musk’s concept is not a good candidate for my proposed San Diego to El Paso line. Too many spots for grade crossings.

Last week, a journal sent me a paper to review, and that paper assumed these obvious benefits of autonomous vehicles before plunging into some heavy network theory:

Autonomous vehicles will greatly increase the capacity of traffic lanes;
Autonomous vehicles will greatly reduce a driver’s subjective value of time;
Autonomous vehicles will greatly improve fuel efficiency; and
Autonomous vehicles will not do anything for passenger safety, or at least not enough to merit any mention by these authors.

Of course, none of this was backed up by analyses or empirical studies. I am thinking these assumptions must have been drawn from conventional wisdom. Great! Let’s base all our academic research on conventional wisdom. It’s lots easier than actually doing background research. I opted out of writing a review.

It would be far better for these concepts if we were to ignore principles of traffic flow, driver behavior, traveler behavior, political constraints, safety, and community impacts. I propose a $10 million research project devoted entirely to finding ways to suspend these inconveniences. If you are from FTA or FHWA, please write the check directly to me, personally. I will deliver the final report soon after we build our border rail project. However, I do not propose to suspend the laws of physics. One must have some degree of integrity!

It was just announced that Uber will not be charged with a crime for the March 18, 2018 crash of a self-driving car that killed a pedestrian. It seems Arizona has no laws to prevent unsafe operation of autonomous vehicles. There was an undisclosed settlement between Uber and the victim’s family, and litigation is continuing between the family and the City of Tempe. However, this litigation does not involve the self-driving aspects of the car; rather the suit boringly relates to alleged roadway design flaws. We are starving for case law on autonomous vehicles. It is clear to me that we need completely unregulated environments, such as was brilliantly created by Arizona, for operating these vehicles so we can build up case law as quickly as possible. To further speed deployment, we should lobby Congress to give big subsidies to self-driving car owners, just as it does now for electric vehicles. This will insure us a huge self-driving fleet well before we have the laws and infrastructure to accommodate it. We will be grateful for all those wrongful death lawsuits, so we can upgrade our benefit-cost studies.

As my mother would say, “Goodness gracious”, we are fortunate to be at the cutting edge of so many interesting technologies.

Alan Horowitz, Chapel Hill, March 12, 2019

Notes:

Honestly, my mother never said goodness anything in her life. Had she been asked, she would likely have said, “what a big load of crap!”.

I grew up in Arizona. I know first-hand how brilliant the state government can be.
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Claire Bozic

As a student of transportation and technology, I embrace all the research and development that is going into potential new technologies.  I love the ingenuity, the imagination and the potential for positive change.  What I don't love is how easily caution is thrown to the wind and "sensible" people jump on the bandwagon demanding that modelers do something about it.  The irony is that I could well have spent the last 20 years modeling the impacts of flying cars, designing for the future of flying cars, working on how land use to accommodate flying cars should be shaped.  What are the  equity impacts of flying cars? How is the pollution and noise distributed?  How should they be regulated?  Will we still need additional road capacity when we have a high share of flying cars? Should flying cars be fleets of shared vehicles? Should they be individually owned?  That time would have been wasted when it could and should have been spent working on practical pressing problems we know about today.  Planners and modelers will respond to new technology, but spending a lot of resources on the questions now, while the impacts are mainly speculative, is time wasted. It's not a planning emergency. 

Phil Hayward

The flipside of what Claire just said, is that there is a LOT of "planning" that is based on not just "status quo" options, but is even backward-looking. I have raised the question on this forum, hoping to influence thinking in more sensible directions, about the widely differing land-rent impacts of fixed-route publicly-subsidized mass transit systems, and automobility. Also the land-rent effects of upzoning as a wished-for means of "increased housing supply". Land rent can work in two ways: it can "price people out" and it can "price people in". The reason for the success of "sprawl" is not nefarious "subsidies", it is that it "prices 

h

ome buyers in". On the other hand, a forced limitation to land consumption in the urban economy, turns land rent into an explosive "pricing out" force (with several layers of implications for everything from productivity growth to social justice). Modelling planning outcomes without understanding these, is like doing rocket science without understanding the force of gravity. 

It is all very well to mock what effect the dreams of someone like Elon Musk might have on urban economics and planning; I'd love it if we could display clear evidence that we'd worked out what effect Henry Ford had!