News

  • We should ask our grandparents how to address our traffic problems

    Posted in Beyond Parking on Jul 08, 2009

    The longer I work in urban design and transportation planning, the more I realize how much the past has to teach us about how to reduce congestion and improve our quality of life today. New Urbanism is not really new at all, since it takes urban design principles from a hundred or so years ago and brings them back to life. These principles have lead us back to more walkable communities and successful businesses.The modern day Streetcar is certainly not a new idea but one that reaches back some 50 years to move people in a cleaner and more efficient fashion. Streetcars are now being constructed...

  • Amid rising costs, how do subways fare?

    Posted in Beyond Parking on Jul 06, 2009

    The local transit agency in Atlanta (MARTA) recently voted to raise fares from $1.75 to $2.00 starting in 2010. That is likely to cause howls since the economy is already hitting riders hard. But how does the new fare compare with other systems around the country? And how well in general does the Atlanta subway, well, fare? To start, Atlanta is one of only eleven cities in the United States that has heavy rail service, which is admirable. Of course the trend in the last decade has been toward light rail. As for the number of stations and lines, it does not even compare to San Francisco's BART ...

  • Traffic Unwrapped

    Posted in Beyond Parking on Jun 05, 2009

    The Atlanta TDM community worked to create a photo sequence of the impact that commute options could have on traffic. These images have proven to be a powerful visual tool. Here’s the link to a multimedia file (with audio) on the Clean Air Campaign website: “Traffic Unwrapped”

  • Savannah Streetcar makes headlines, so why not Atlanta?

    Posted in Beyond Parking on May 13, 2009

    As you may remember in 2004, Lanier Parking Solutions launched an effort to return electric streetcars to Atlanta's Peachtree Street. Lanier led an effort to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars to perform a feasibility study, which found a Peachtree streetcar would reduce traffic congestion and spur high quality development in the corridor. In 2006, Lanier handed off the project to the Atlanta mayor's Peachtree Corridor Task Force (later the Peachtree Corridor Partnership), which made the streetcar the centerpiece of an overall transformation of Peachtree. Now we just need the funding.While...

  • Hug and a Helmet

    Posted in Beyond Parking on Apr 30, 2009

    Check out this video where Danish police officers stop cyclists en route who are not wearing the proper safety gear to offer a hug and a helmet.

  • Parking Deck Blows in the Wind

    Posted in Beyond Parking on Apr 07, 2009

    I saw Ned Kahn speak at SCAD last night and was totally blown away (pardon the pun) by his work. Ned is an environmental artist and sculptor from Northern California who has completed ambitious public artworks for private and public organizations, both as a solo artist and in collaboration with architects and engineers across the U.S. and Europe.Kahn won a MacArthur Foundation "genius award" in 2003 and the National Design Award for environmental design in 2005. Below is a video of a piece Ned did in Charlotte, NC where he covered the facade of a parking garage with 80,000 small aluminum pane...

  • Carpooling in the 21st Century

    Posted in Beyond Parking on Mar 09, 2009

    I was recently thinking about carpooling and how it has evolved over the past decade or two. Carpooling used to be something you could only do in person. You had to know someone (co-worker, neighborhood or family member) who happen to be going in the same direction.Then came ridematch databases that matched people within a certain employer or area. Sure, you did not know the person, but you could take comfort in that they were like-minded and employed.Today, you can arrange carpooling online at http://www.goloco.org/ and http://www.erideshare.com/. These services allow for all types of trips (...

  • Transit oriented developments may create fewer car trips than thought

    Posted in Beyond Parking on Feb 17, 2009

    Opponents of high-density, transit-oriented developments (TODs), often claim they create more of a traffic problem than they solve. But new research shows the number of trips they create is often exaggerated by as much as 50%.First, a little background. Transportation planners struggle with how to reliably predict the number of net vehicle and person trips generated by new or infill mixed-use development such as TODs. Since the old model has relied primarily on single-use, free-standing sites, it is very difficult to make predictions with any certainty. Add to the mix internal capture rates, a...

  • GDOT fantasy threatens to scuttle BeltLine reality

    Posted in Beyond Parking on Feb 02, 2009

    There they go again, flexing their muscle instead of their brains. GDOT has built roads in the same fashion for the past 100 years in Georgia, and now they are bringing the tactic to alternative transportation. It appears GDOT wants to grab a piece of the BeltLine for their commuter rail/high speed rail fantasy with no regard to the City of Atlanta and their plans for the Beltline.Jay Bookman writes in the AJC that the DOT does not have a good record of following through on its commuter rail plans.For example, an environmental assessment of a downtown multimodal station was completed back in 1...

  • President Obama vows new focus on transit

    Posted in Beyond Parking on Jan 20, 2009

    On this historic day, a reminder of President Obama's stated positions on energy efficient public transportation.http://www.barackobama.com/pdf/issues/FactSheetTransportation.pdfCreate Greater Incentives for Public Transit Usage: The federal tax code rewards driving to work by allowing employers to provide parking benefits of $205 per month tax free to their employees. The tax code provides employers with commuting benefits for transit, carpooling or vanpooling capped at $105 per month. This gives drivers a nearly 2:1 advantage over transit users. Obama and Biden will reform the tax code to ma...

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