Tag Archives: economics

Quantifying the Cost of Sprawl

Sprawling single-family suburban development is more expensive than compact land use.  There’s more infrastructure per capita and per unit area (pavement, power lines, water and sewage lines, etc), in conjunction with much lower tax revenues per unit infrastructure.  This is … Continue reading

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Cars and Robust Cities Are Fundamentally Incompatible

A writeup by The Atlantic Cities of a paper in the Transportation Research Board journal of the National Academies looking at the effects of parking on the vitality of urban centers.  It’s found that the detrimental effects of dedicating urban … Continue reading

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Orange County toll roads’ under review by California

Orange County’s toll roads are unable to pay their own way, leading the state of California to investigate whether their administrative agencies are viable as a going concern.  Obviously the situation is complicated by the fact that there are public … Continue reading

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Suburbs == Ponzi scheme

Charles Marohn of Strong Towns on Grist, explaining the way in which American suburbs are a giant Ponzi scheme.  Essentially, since WWII there have been several rounds of up-front financing for suburban expansion, including federal dollars, and debt leveraging supposed … Continue reading

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The Diverging Diamond

Strong Towns takes on The Diverging Diamond and suburban traffic engineers everywhere.  It’s nice to see someone on the conservative end of the spectrum also arguing passionately for livable density and good urban spaces.  He comes to it from an economic … Continue reading

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How Google’s Driving Costs Misses the Train

A fun critique of the estimated driving costs that you get from Google Maps, from Alex Steffen.  The costs of driving are largely (mostly?) systemic, and external to the individual, and predicated on an assumption of car ownership, and a … Continue reading

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Between the Lines

Yet another article about the Shoupistas, this time in Los Angeles magazine. Have we reached some kind of cognitive tipping point? Will urban parking policy start changing? Will our downtown business districts be transformed? We can hope…

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WalMart selling cheap dutch-style bikes

WalMart is selling cheap dutch-style bikes.  If you’re gonna sell cheap bikes, it makes a lot more sense to me for them to be simple and utilitarian (like the Flying Pigeon bikes of Tianjin), instead of double suspension 27 speed … Continue reading

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Energy and Equity – Ivan Illich

Energy and Equity is an essay from the energy crisis of the 1970s.  It’s got a socialist bent, but I don’t think that’s actually vital to the point being made.  As the speeds at which we travel and the distances … Continue reading

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All Transportation Infrastructure is Development

A good post from Fort Worthology on the perils of continuing to build late-20th century sprawling car-centric cities, and the fallacy that transit/bike/pedestrian infrastructure is a “handout for developers” while highways are not.  All public infrastructure — especially transportation infrastructure … Continue reading

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