News & links

Minneapolis’ tight rules usher in a new era of window shopping
Window theory and rules.
Minneapolis Post (Minnpost), 11.12.2019

Level-of-Crowding Icon Tested at Shanghai Bus Stops
The number of cartoon icons on the forecast screens of bus stops on route 99 from 1 to 3 corresponds to "comfortable, moderate and crowded". This is a new technology for pilot ride comfort forecasting-passenger density analysis based on image capture technology.
Jiusi Bus Group, No. 1 Bus Company, 26.11.2019

Sydney's light rail bill soars to at least $2.9 billion
The transport minister says the light rail will move only 6,570 people in two directions per hour; a paltry capacity level for such a major corridor and huge project cost.
Sydney Morning Herald, 22.11.2019

Zombie Miles And Napa Weekends: How A Week With Chauffeurs Showed The Major Flaw In Our Self-Driving Car Future
Autonomous vehicles is not the answer.
Jalopnik, 15.11.2019

The Captured City
"Urban command centers are built primarily for police, not planners, let alone the public."
Real Life, 12.11.2019

The City That Cycles With the Young, the Old, the Busy and the Dead
"Some 49 percent of all journeys to school and work now transpire by bicycle, according to the city, up from 36 percent a decade ago. When the municipal government recently surveyed Copenhagen’s bikers on what inspires them to bike, 55 percent said it was more convenient than the alternatives. Only 16 percent cited environmental benefits."
New York Times, 09.11.2019

1.5 Million Packages a Day: The Internet Brings Chaos to N.Y. Streets
Excellent insights into traffic impacts of online deliveries.
New York Times, 27.10.2019

It Was Supposed to Be the Safest Building in the World. Then It Cracked.
"The project had been built by some of the most respected firms in the industry. Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects conceived the design. Thornton Tomasetti, Pelli's collaborators on Malaysia’s iconic Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur, served as the designer and engineer of record. The Bay Area’s preeminent contractor, Webcor/Obayashi, led the construction. Skanska, the construction firm behind New York’s World Trade Center Transportation Hub and Oculus, won the $189 million subcontract to furnish the structural steel. And the Herrick Corporation, another California construction heavyweight, had shop-fabricated the girders in question, using steel flange plates supplied by two subcontractors."
Popular Mechanics, 25.10.2019

E-Bike Craze Continues Unabated in Holland
A survey of 318 dealers suggests half of all new bike sales in Holland are e-bikes.
Bike Europe, 24.10.2019

Sydney's new 65km walking track stretches from Parramatta to Penrith
Ambitious greenway network planning - 65km walking route.
Sydney Morning Herald, 13.10.2019

Pedestrian detection systems don’t work very well, AAA finds
Dismal results in all but the least challenging scenarios.
Ars Technica, 08.10.2019

'A deadly problem': should we ban SUVs from our cities?
Rhetorical question.
The Guardian, 07.10.2019

Street by Street, Amsterdam Is Cutting Cars Out of the Picture
"The tools Amsterdam is using to build its car-free future don’t require huge amounts of disruption or cost. Key among these is what the Dutch call a “cut” (knip in Dutch). This involves simply putting up barriers that close off a short strip of a long street; most of the street can still be accessed for deliveries, pick-ups, and drop-offs, but it’s no longer good as a route across town."
Citylab, 07.10.2019

Rio's Defunct Gondola Tells a Tale of Transit Style Over Substance
"What seemed a new era for Alemão didn’t last. In September 2016, just a month after the Olympics concluded, the consortium in charge of operating the cable car shut it down, citing a lack of funds for maintenance."
Wired, 02.10.2019

The ‘arrested decay’ architecture trend is changing how we restore our old buildings
"Consolidation rather than restoration.”
CRE, 27.09.2019

[重庆]“高铁+上盖物业” 沙坪坝火车站打造成全国第一个商圈高铁TOD(图)
Real high speed rail TOD.
MOT, 10.09.2019

Berlin horror crash prompts growing calls to ban SUVs from German cities
Ban SUVs in cities.
The Local, 09.09.2019

New Study Shows Promise for Curbing Ride-Hail Traffic
"The study tested the traffic impacts of providing more passenger load zones (PLZs) paired with in-app geofencing technology that guided drivers and riders to designated load/unload locations. While limited to a very specific sample, the results indicate that creating a designated space for passenger loading can discourage double-parking and reduce traffic conflicts."
University of Washington, 05.09.2019

北京首批公务电动自行车投用 解决10公里以内的出行难题
"短途公务出行一直是交通痛点。此次亮相的公务电动自行车,解决的正是10公里以内的公务出行难题,既能保障公务出行的效率和安全,又能降低行政成本。使用者无需缴纳押金,由骑行者所在单位集体购买服务或公务出行卡,个人信息和单位信息经过平台审核后就能正常骑行,目前已与近20个国家部委及单位签约。"
北京日报, 02.09.2019

国务院发文要求取消汽车限购 北京称没接到通知
Cities under pressure to remove car registration restrictions. 国务院发文要求取消汽车限购 北京称没接到通知,买车仍需摇号
经济观察网, 29.08.2019

Is Elon Wrong About LiDAR?
Yes... It's better to have multiple sensors.
Scale, 12.08.2019

Skateboarding does not need Games validation, says Hawk
“Skateboarding has so much more to offer young people in terms of self confidence, in terms of identity, in terms of setting their own challenges. And that is not competitive-based.”
Reuters, 11.08.2019

We regret to inform you that scooters aren’t actually good for the environment
Just because the scooters themselves don’t spew out carbon dioxide, doesn’t mean the process of making, charging, and transporting them is emission-free.... Scooters typically produce more emissions than a standard bus with high ridership, an electric moped, an electric bicycle, a regular bicycle, or a good old carbon-free walk.
Vox, 08.08.2019

“Old Paris Is No More”
Writers like Charles Baudelaire, Émile Zola, and Gustave Flaubert walked through the streets and monuments that would attract millions of tourists over the next century and felt little more than shame.... not only were thousands of buildings destroyed to make way for the new construction, but thousands of people were forced from their homes to make way for luxury buildings that the former tenants would not be able to afford. The new construction caused something of a great migration of people from the center of the city to the outskirts, setting up a geographical separation of poor and rich—and the corresponding dichotomy of suburb and city center—that has lingered to this day.
LAPHAM’S QUARTERLY, 29.07.2019

Was the Automotive Era a Terrible Mistake?
The age of driving may be merely a cul-de-sac in transportation history.
New Yorker, 22.07.2019

The Hidden Winners in Neighborhood Gentrification
A welcome sanity check on anti-gentrification arguments.
Citylab, 16.07.2019

Americans Shouldn’t Have to Drive, but the Law Insists on It
"Inequities in traffic regulation are only the beginning. Land-use law, criminal law, torts, insurance, vehicle safety regulations, even the tax code—all these sources of law provide rewards to cooperate with what has become the dominant transport mode, and punishment for those who defy it."
The Atlantic, 09.07.2019

Berlin Brandenburg: The airport with half a million faults
Some very expensive lessons learned from Berlin's new airport. One simple problem, bizarrely enough, was the airport architect, Meinhard von Gerkan's dislike of shopping. The need for constant changes to the design even while construction was ongoing reflects a lack of adequate preliminary planning and design.
BBC, 29.06.2019

'No effective oversight': why the Opal and Mascot Towers cases may be the tip of a very large iceberg
"The design-and-construct model means a developer can get approval to start a project on the basis of partial concept drawings, a builder then tenders for construction and takes over the rest of the design work as construction takes place. Unlike the system which prevailed two or three decades ago, when an architect or clerk of works or engineer would see the whole process through from start to finish, in the design-and-construct model it can be a bit like pass the parcel."
Sydney Morning Herald, 22.06.2019

Airbnb likely removed 31,000 homes from Canada’s rental market, study finds
The McGill authors note that frequently rented homes “are still a small fraction of total housing” in any Canadian city. However, listings can be highly concentrated in some neighbourhoods. In parts of Montreal, for instance, one in five homes were listed on Airbnb.
Globe and Mail, 20.06.2019

Taking a city’s pulse with moveable sensors
A small number of taxis can circulate over a one-third of a city in a day, and a slightly larger number can reach half the city, but after that, a much bigger fleet is needed. "The practical side of the study is that city planners and policymakers, among others, now potentially have a more concrete idea about the investment needed for certain levels of mobile sensing, as well as the extent of the results they would likely obtain."
MIT News, 11.06.2019

Tokyo proves that housing shortages are a political choice
"The planning framework that underpins this supply is a simple zoning system that allows by-right development, rather than one that relies on granting planning permission for each individual site. There are only 12 zones, defined according to the maximum nuisance level they allow, ranging from sleepy residential to polluting industrial uses. The key is that pretty much anything can be built, provided it does not exceed the zone’s nuisance level – so in areas zoned for high street usages it is possible to convert a hotel into housing and vice versa, but this is not possible in residential only zones."
Citymetric, 31.05.2019

The Birth and Death of a Bike Company; What Happened to Speedx?
"In May 2017, SpeedX and Bluegogo were at the zenith of their industry – a company of more than 500 staff, valued at more than US$150M, with an attractive high-end road bike on the way, a fleet of 800,000 sharebikes, and 20 million registered users. Within six months, it was all gone."
VeloClub. Image from AP via AAP Ri Xi/Xiquinho Silva/SpeedX, 15.05.2019

Hanoi BRT project faces failure
Writing on the wall for the Hanoi BRT
VOV, 13.05.2019

STEC allots B7.79bn for Mor Chit project
Value capture - US$250 million (7.79 billion baht) paid by developer for a site next to Mo Chit Skytrain station owned by the Skytrain operator.
Bangkok Post, 12.04.2019

Barcelona’s superblocks are a new model for “post-car” urban living
Plans to drastically reduce the motor vehicle network in Barcelona.
Vox, 11.04.2019

Ford CEO says the company 'overestimated' self-driving cars
"Following years of hype and billions of dollars in investment, some other companies are admitting that expectations for self-driving cars were perhaps too high."
Bloomberg, 11.04.2019

The World’s Greatest Delivery Empire
Meituan vs Alibaba.
Bloomberg, 28.03.2019

Sadiq Khan pushes for tube-style services on London's railways
'Turn up and go' train service proposed for suburban lines in London. The same approach is used in high-frequency bus service applications. With high frequency, all-day service passengers don't need to time journeys according to transit timetables.
Guardian, 26.03.2019

Scientists rise up against statistical significance
"Eradicating categorization will help to halt overconfident claims, unwarranted declarations of ‘no difference’ and absurd statements about ‘replication failure’ when the results from the original and replication studies are highly compatible. The misuse of statistical significance has done much harm to the scientific community and those who rely on scientific advice. P values, intervals and other statistical measures all have their place, but it’s time for statistical significance to go."
Nature, 20.03.2019

In Need of Housing, Barcelona Fines Landlords For Long-Vacant Buildings
"The law the city is using, which gives it scope to fine negligent landlords after two years of leaving a property vacant, has in fact been in place since 2007 (before Colau’s election) but wasn’t implemented until during her tenure. Since then, the scale of fines demanded has been rising dramatically."
Citylab, 15.03.2019

Abolish Parking Minimums
A city (in this case San Diego) abolishing parking minimums is unfortunately still newsworthy. Future urban planners will look back in complete bafflement at the practice of minimum parking requirements.
TransitCenter, 13.03.2019

Ban cars near schools, says Public Health England
An excellent high level policy orientation. Possible pilot project applications in Guangzhou?
Motoring Research, 12.03.2019

Autonomous vehicles could be an environmental boon or disaster, depending on public policy
"Planning, management and carefully crafted regulations are essential to reducing vehicle emissions and avoiding additional miles traveled by the vehicles, specifically vehicles traveling with few passengers or without any passengers at all."
Science Daily, 12.03.2019

Why American Costs Are So High
Excellent breakdown of factors leading to metro project cost blowouts.
Pedestrian Observations, 03.03.2019

The Way Forward for Yangon Comprises Bus Priority Measures and Traffic Flow Reforms
CDIA's bus priority, NMT and parking improvement feasibility studies for Yangon, carried out by Far East Mobility during 2018.
CDIA, 25.02.2019

Economic benefits of walking and cycling
The latest evidence, research and findings on the economic benefits of walking and cycling, showcasing studies developed by Transport for London and other organisations.
Transport for London, 19.02.2019

Why the California Bullet Train Project Failed: 7 “Worst Practices”
Autopsy of a train-wreck, California high speed rail.
Eno Center for Transportation, 13.02.2019

Welcome to Oslo! NO PARKING.
More and more European cities are effectively banning automobiles from their city centers — and it seems to be working out just fine for local businesses. The cities are "discovering that restoring these historic spaces to their pre-automobile states is as good for tourism, local business, and overall civic contentedness as it is for air quality and a shrinking carbon footprint."
NRDC, 01.02.2019

Why outer suburbs lack inner city’s ‘third places’: a partial defence of the hipster
Fairly obvious, but still interesting article about a 'third place' concept.
The Conversation, 30.01.2019

What’s Not Great About China’s High-Speed Rail? The Debt
HSR as grey rhino. High-speed rail in China, as in Europe, can hollow out conventional rail and force more freight onto roads. Debt burdens are onerous even on the highest demand lines.
Caixin Global, 29.01.2019

What happened when Oslo decided to make its downtown basically car-free?
It was a huge success: Parking spots are now bike lanes, transit is fast and easy, and the streets (and local businesses) are full of people. To help support the shift, the city made “massive improvements in public transport and making cycling safe and comfortable,” says Rune Gjøs, Oslo’s head of cycling.
Fast Company, 24.01.2019

The Transcendent Incompetence of the L Train Fiasco
Fascinating case study of how projects can move forward with no-one actually questioning anything. This is an issue with many BRT projects. "In all walks of life — engineering, politics, transportation — there is a fine line between the earned wisdom of experience and the toxic self-regard of a credentialed rut."
New York Times, 12.01.2019

Transport Ministry Tightens Toll Road Rules as Losses Spiral
End of the road for unviable toll road projects?
Caixin, 21.12.2018

Scooter Companies vs. the Regulators
Regulators vs dockless mobility: it's what drove Mobike and Ofo into the ground in Guangzhou, and the experience is also familiar in the US.
Slate, 12.12.2018

Shenzhen's silent revolution: world's first fully electric bus fleet quietens Chinese megacity
Interesting though uncritical take on bus fleet electrification in Shenzhen, headlining the noise reduction benefits. Bus frequency is very high even in off-peak periods, with near empty electric buses ubiquitous in off-peak periods, providing an impressive level of passenger service. However, Shenzhen still does not manage to provide any real-time information on bus arrivals at bus stops, and the city does not provide any significant on-street bus priority anywhere, and the benefits of high bus frequency have nothing to do with electrification. The article does clear up one mystery: why such extremely high off-peak frequency even where buses are near empty? Evidently a large subsidy requires buses to meet operational-km targets. Our proposal for Shenzhen's next step forward for its 100% electric bus fleet? Implement BRT or meaningful bus priority and provide real-time bus arrival information for passengers at bus stops.
Guardian, 12.12.2018

Sydney's new 80km walk to be most spectacular in the world
"It was an act of imagination to have Sydneysiders understand the scale of public land around the harbour. The idea that you can walk from Bondi to Manly is a reality now". The multi-day walk would become a "major tourist attraction". It would be as good if not better than the world's great walking trails including North America's Appalachian Trail, the Camino de Santiago in France and Spain, and Cinque Terra in Italy. Together with federal and state government agencies, six related mayors agreed to link existing coastal and harbour-side walking tracks and paths, and erect consistent signs and directions. About 60 km of the trail is on public land. The rest will be on footpaths, including near Point Piper, Darling Point and Potts Point.
Sydney Morning Herald, 26.11.2018

The Case Against Quantum Computing
In our Busway, Parking and NMT Concept Design presentations in Yangon on 15 Nov, one participant asked, 'but what about the future? What about elevated roads and sky trains?' Our response: our proposals ARE the future... Unlike hyped and perpetually 'on the horizon breakthroughs' like quantum computing or level 5 SAE 'full automation' driverless cars in urban areas.
IEEE, 15.11.2018

Milking Scooters for Cash Helps Cities Build for the Future
"In Austin, officials are charging companies $100 a bike or scooter during its experimental phase, and could raise tens of thousands annually. Mobility startups operating in Santa Monica, California, have shelled out a $20,000 each for the right to operate, plus $130 per each device on the street, plus $1 per device per day for the privilege of parking on the public sidewalk. (That last charge is modeled off the way the city charges restaurants for outdoor dining.) Participants’ in Los Angeles’ soon-to-launch scooter and bike program will have a similar setup. Portland, Oregon, meanwhile, is charging the companies operating there a 25-cent per trip fee."
Wired, 06.11.2018

Cities on the World Stage: A ‘superblock’ design that inspires more like it
Superblocks to the rescue? "The Superblock has the potential to address a number of urban priorities, including air quality, noise pollution, public health and social isolation. Barcelona’s leadership and ambition with the Superblock is refreshing, and others around the world are taking notice."
opencanada.org, 18.10.2018

A Step-by-Step Guide for Fixing Badly Planned American Cities
Active and thick facades.
Citylab, 09.10.2018

'On brink of ruin': Light rail inquiry hears financial, personal toll
Sydney's light rail redefines 'train wreck'. But can light rail be blamed, apart from contracting or other issues? Yes.
Sydney Morning Herald, 03.10.2018

Ride-hailing increases vehicle miles traveled
Innovative research methodology reveals htat ride-hailing accounts for an 83 percent increase in the miles cars travel for ride-hailing passengers in Denver’s metro area, according to a study published this week in the Journal of Transportation by researchers at the University of Colorado Denver. "Hi Rider! I'm a grad student doing research about transportation. Would you please help me by doing a short survey about this ride?"
University of Colorado, 27.09.2018

Robert Venturi: the bad-taste architect who took a sledgehammer to modernism
Robert Venturi, author of one of the 20th Century's best books on architecture, 'Learning from Las Vegas', has died. The Guardian: "Venturi was one of the most influential figures in 20th-century architecture, taking an erudite sledgehammer to the dogmas of modernism and arguing for a world that embraced history, diversity and humour."
The Guardian, 20.09.2018

Don't walk this way: why Hong Kong reopened a pedestrian street to cars
Hong Kong's solution to noisy buskers: open a pedestrian street to cars. While the elevated walkway network is outstanding, at street level Hong Kong is way behind other cities in the region and decades behind Europe.
The Guardian, 20.09.2018

Induced Demand
The complex sets of inputs required for quantifying induced demand—including local economic and demographic conditions, the quality and availability of alternative transportation options, and the decision-making processes of thousands of individual actors—leave plenty of room for interpretation.
Citylab, 06.09.2018

College Park is pulling for south metro Atlanta’s first transit-based zoning
The proposed new rules detail very specific requirements on such aspects as height of buildings, lot sizes, building materials, facade designs, landscaping, parking and lighting, and also prohibit business types including vehicle sales, pawn shops, adult entertainment and tattoo parlours.
Curbed Atlanta, 04.09.2018

See No Evil
An article explaining the robustness of supply chains. 'Tributaries' rather than 'chains'. ... "In some sense all gold is the same, so you just buy the cheapest gold you can get. But if you look at it in another way, it matters how it was mined and transported. And then all of the sudden, every piece of gold is a little bit different."
Miriam Posner, Logic Magazine, 11.08.2018

A Once-Maligned Concrete Megastructure in Seoul is Revitalized—Sans Gentrification
A focus on infill and re-use is example for some of the largely abandoned areas in cities like Ji'an, China. "Now, thanks to the Remaking Sewoon Project, which Seoul mayor Park Won-soon spearheaded in 2015, Sewoon Sangga is poised as an adaptive- reuse success story in the city’s post–2008 recession efforts to improve walkability, connect communities, and nurture creative growth."
Metropolis, 08.08.2018

Secret document warns vision for Sydney's light rail ignored realities
A 'Lessons for Light Rail' report says the project for a light rail from Sydney's CBD to the eastern suburbs should have had a more detailed design process with a longer evaluation and negotiation period. The report notes that "Visions were promoted before understanding the real constraints of the project - the underground utilities and drainage."
SMH, 05.08.2018

Two Dockless Bikeshare Companies Have Left D.C., One Citing Tight Regulations
Mobike is leaving Washington DC citing a 400-bike cap that killed any chance of efficient or meangingful operations. Washington joins the long list of cities that rather than embracing dockless bike sharing and the potential to double or triple the proportion of trips made by bicycle, has instead focused on over-regulation and obstruction.
WAMU, 25.07.2018

China made solar panels cheap. Now it’s doing the same for electric buses.
"Battery electric buses are still a nascent technology; they haven’t hit the steep upward slope of the S-curve yet. For city and county authorities, the decision between BEBs and diesel or natural gas buses is still agonizingly difficult, involving considerations about infrastructure, interoperability, lock-in, and lifecycle analysis that are new to many of them. So the market needs a kick in the pants to really get moving. And it looks like China is providing it."
Vox, 24.07.2018

Uber's e-bikes are cannibalizing rides from Uber's cars
The greatest shift away from cars occurred each weekday between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m., when traffic congestion is at its worst. Uber and Jump anticipated that, figuring that passengers would seek alternatives to slogging through gridlock in a car.
CNN, 19.07.2018

Apartment buildings are illegal to build in 73.5% of San Francisco
"Apartment building" is defined to be a building with 3 or more homes. It is illegal to build a building with more than 5 homes in 87% of San Francisco. Many apartment buildings already exist in the red and orange areas but would be illegal to build today.
vadimg (data SF Gov, code Github), 19.07.2018

How Helsinki Arrived at the Future of Urban Travel First
[Another installment in the 'future of urban transport' genre.] Instead of using one app for rides and local government apps for public transport, Whim offers a single app with a single fee. Users get to pick the most efficient way to get between any two places. “We’re trying to solve the big question in transportation: What do we need to offer to compete with car ownership?”
Bloomberg, 15.07.2018

American Cities Are Drowning in Car Storage
'It’s not an exaggeration to say American cities have been built for cars more than people. [...] “Car storage has become the primary land use in many city areas.” In Des Moines, for example, there are 18 times as many parking spaces per acre as households — 1.6 million parking spaces and about 81,000 homes. In Philadelphia, there are 3.7 times more parking spaces than households. Of the five cities, only New York has more households than parking spaces, and New York still has 1.85 million parking spaces.'
Streetsblog, 12.07.2018

Mobike Discards Deposits in Bid for Bike-Sharing Supremacy
New users of Mobike no longer have to put up a 300 yuan ($45) deposit, and the platform’s 105 million current users are now eligible to get their deposits refunded.
Caixin, 05.07.2018

Where did Sydney light-rail project go so wrong?
When did it all go wrong? Rather than directly engage contractors to perform specific works, a government wraps up an entire project into one large contract, with risks provided for in the details of that contract.
Sydney Morning Herald, 30.06.2018

AMERICA’S UGLY STRIP MALLS WERE CAUSED BY GOVERNMENT REGULATION
Strip malls come from government regulation, not the market: requirements on setbacks, parking, single use, density.
Market Urbanism Report, 28.06.2018

Do Londoners dream of electric buses?
"There are also plans that could see a return, in a way, of the old trollybus. Rather than an unsightly electric wire running the entire length of the route, as say on a tram network, here there would be recharging points at bus stops."
IanVisits, 26.06.2018

Deals on Wheels: Why Group Bike Rides Are the New Boardroom
Cyclists have been praising their sport as the “new golf” for business networking.
Wall Street Journal, 20.06.2018

Report criticizes Albuquerque BRT project
What can go wrong with poorly planned BRT? Mayor Tim Keller said in a statement: “The report is a helpful summary of how they got into this mess. The findings show why it’s taking an extraordinary amount of time and effort to clean it up, so the transportation system works for the people of our city.”
Albuquerque Journal, 08.06.2018

BYD’s SkyRail Project Called Off Amid Stricter Scrutiny of Rail Projects
The project was halted because developers failed to report related information to the NDRC to obtain necessary approval and tried to skirt regulatory reviews. The 7.8-kilometer rail was scheduled to start operation by the end of this year, but there has been no sign of resumed construction. A Hunan government official told Caixin that the city and provincial governments submitted a revised city transportation development plan to the NDRC for further review.
Caixin, 08.06.2018

Madrid Takes Its Car Ban to the Next Level
Following an announcement this week, the Spanish capital confirmed that, starting in November, all non-resident vehicles will be barred from a zone that covers the entirety of Madrid’s center. The only vehicles that will be allowed in this zone are cars that belong to residents who live there, zero-emissions delivery vehicles, taxis, and public transit.
Citylab, 24.05.2018

London one of worst capitals in Europe for clean, safe transport, study shows
UK capital has the most expensive public transport, third-worst air quality and is one of most dangerous to walk and cycle, study by the Wuppertal Institute of 13 cities reveals. Copenhagen, Amsterdam and Oslo score the highest.
The Guardian, 22.05.2018

The Amazing Psychology of Japanese Train Stations
How Tokyo train operators manage 13 billion passenger-trips a year through the world’s most crowded railway stations. The method is part planning, part engineering, part psychology. Blue lamps at the ends of platforms deter suicide attempts. Melodic jingles alert passengers to departing trains, in place of alarmist whistles and buzzers. High-pitched noise generators, inaudible to the over-25s, disperse teenagers tempted to gather in station concourses.
Citylab, 22.05.2018

Electric Scooter Charger Culture Is Out of Control
Bird is a scooter-sharing company that launched in 2017 and has been dubbed the “Uber of scooters.” When night falls, what most riders don’t realize is that the scooters themselves are charged by a contract workforce. These people are known as “Bird hunters” or “chargers.”
The Atlantic, 20.05.2018

Chicago Parking Meter Lease Slow-Motion Train Wreck Only Has 65 More Years to Go
Chicago’s parking meter system raked in $134.2 million last year, putting private investors on pace to recoup their entire $1.16 billion investment by 2021 with 62 years to go in the lease, the latest annual audit shows. Chicago has converted what used to be $23.8 million in annual revenues for the city and turned it into a $21.7 million expense.
Urbanophile, 17.05.2018

We can’t forget about mass transit when we talk about the ‘future of transportation’
The best ideas for improving public transportation are simply not flashy. A bus rapid transit system (which is arguably one of the better ways a city can improve the flow of its citizens), is just not as scintillating an answer as a “fleet of self-driving cars,” or “flying cars,” or that blasted jetpack.
The Verge, 12.05.2018

China Seeks to Rein In Ambitious High-Speed Rail Projects
China's top national economic planner has issued guidelines specifying that land around high speed rail stations earmarked for development should not on average exceed 50 hectares, although for a small number of stations, that figure goes to up to 100 ha. The NDRC said that new high-speed railway lines should not lead to the partitioning of cities; stations should be located within, or as near as possible to, central urban areas for convenience of passengers; and buildings should not be ostentatious, grandiose projects. Unfortunately, the horse has bolted and these guidelines probably should have been provided a decade ago.
Caixin, 09.05.2018

Railways’ failure to meet public expectations
The whole system is a shambles. Half the trains don’t work, the others move at a crawl. Crashes are frequent, death-tolls are high, workers live miserably. “The rail between Sukkur and Quetta still uses the British-era signal system that employs kerosene lanterns on signal posts and a token, passed from one group of the signal staff to the next, to ensure that there are no gaps in communication.”
Herald, 30.04.2018

Electric Buses Are Hurting the Oil Industry
China had about 99 percent of the 385,000 electric buses on the roads worldwide in 2017, accounting for 17 percent of the country’s entire fleet. Every five weeks, Chinese cities add 9,500 of the zero-emissions transporters—the equivalent of London’s entire working fleet, according Bloomberg New Energy Finance. For every 1,000 battery-powered buses on the road, about 500 barrels a day of diesel fuel will be displaced from the market.
Bloomberg, 24.04.2018

The Real Reason Your Local Mall is Failing
"And we should also recognize where our wealth really comes from. It comes from our downtown and our core neighborhoods (those within walking distance of the downtown). It certainly doesn't come from people driving through those places. It doesn't come from people commuting in. It doesn't come from tourists or developers or the potential of land development out on the edge."
Strong Towns, 23.04.2018

Here’s the real nightmare scenario for self-driving cars
"The only way to spend time with a car is to drive somewhere in it. Insofar as they get revenue from advertising, owners of shared vehicle fleets will want more people to go more places in cars. Their revenue will rise with VMT, so they will strive to maximize VMT. Hitching ad revenue to VMT would put the industry squarely in opposition to other, non-car modes of transit and make it an enemy of good urban planning."
Vox, 20.04.2018

Sydney light rail's finish date now 2020, a year later than planned
When the system eventually opens, late and subject to more than $1 billion in litigation and cost overruns, it will provide a service which is slower than the former bus shuttle connecting the same areas.
Sydney Morning Herald, 19.04.2018

THE DISGRACEFUL DOCKLESS DRAMA: WHAT DOCKLESS BIKES/SCOOTERS ARE EXPOSING
"For the first time, scooters and bikes, the absolute rockstars of urban mobility, have started coming close to enjoying a similar user experience as cars: the convenient user experience of go anywhere, park anywhere. If cities allow and mandate that we be able to park cars everywhere, why shouldn’t bikes have the same convenience? Especially considering they require 10 times less space than cars and offer enormous efficiency, environmental, cost, and health benefits."
Have A Go, 18.04.2018

OLPC's $100 Laptop Was Going to Change the World - Then It All Went Wrong
“We already knew that kids could learn to use computers. They’ve been doing that since day one,” he says. “What the project did not demonstrate is that kids could use computers for learning.”
The Verge, 16.04.2018

Are Houston’s Deed Restrictions “Basically Zoning”?
City officials don't regulate zoning, but do regulate lot sizes, setbacks, and parking requirements. They also enforce private deed restrictions.
Market Urbanism, 11.04.2018

No finish date for Sydney's light rail as company takes NSW to court
The legal bill for the 14-km line has climbed past $15 million so far – or 0.72 per cent of the $2.1 billion cost of the project. And Spanish builder Acciona, subcontracted by ALTRAC, are reportedly demanding an extra $1.2 billion from the government due to additional utilities complexities.
Sydney Morning Herald, 10.04.2018

Transit retail hitting the mark as train stations multiply
"Transit hubs, like hospitals and airports, are the new frontiers for retailers... Sydney Metro Northwest are planning to deliver retail offerings that are station specific and complementary to the broader newly created station precinct and retail already on offer in the immediate area."
Sydney Morning Herald, 07.04.2018