Linklist: September 6, 2011

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MARIA POPOVA at Nieman Journalism Lab Accessibility vs. access: How the rhetoric of “rare” is changing in the age of information abundance : "Historically, the two main types of obstacles to information discovery have been barriers of awareness, which encompass all the information we can’t access because we simply don’t know about its existence in the first place, and barriers of accessibility, which refer to the information we do know is out there but remains outside of our practical, infrastructural or legal reach. What the digital convergence has done is solve the latter, by bringing much previously inaccessible information into the public domain, made the former worse in the process, by increasing the net amount of information available to us and thus creating a wealth of information we can’t humanly be aware of due to our cognitive and temporal limitations, and added a third barrier — a barrier of motivation.

Here’s roughly how it works: I love biking and used to live in Philadelphia, home to one of the largest connected bike trails in North America. One year, I decided to move to an apartment that was tragically outside of my budget and far from where most of my friends lived, but it was right off one of the bike trails, so I figured it would be worth it — I figured that because the trail was so easily accessible to me, I’d access it frequently, a lifestyle premium I’d be willing to sacrifice other things for. In the years prior to moving, I lived much farther from the trail, but would bike there at least once every couple of months. And what happened when I moved closer? I went biking a total of once during the 18 months I lived there. Why? Because the trail was so readily available to me that I no longer had that nagging motivation to make time for it and actively pursue it."

Sam Staley @ Planetizen Are TODs Really PODs? : "For a while now, I've wondered if we have been mislabeling the development around well functioning transit stops as transit-oriented developments (TODs). ... So, what explains the increase in property values? I believe it's the pedestrian access. "

The Economist Boarding planes efficiently: Attention airlines: Please don't board by rows : "A scientist has proven what veteran business travellers long suspected: boarding planes by row is a terrible idea (PDF). Jason Steffen, who works at the Fermilab Center for Particle Astrophysics, conducted an experiment in which he asked 72 "passengers"—luggage and all—to board a Boeing 757 using several different methods."

1 Comment

I generally like the POD/TOD article, though I'm definitely in the camp of people who believes denser development should happen regardless of whether there's a transit service available or not. Too many places don't want to consider building densely until a light-rail or streetcar line comes along, but there basically aren't enough of those to go around (and there are places like small towns that will basically never get that to happen).

Has there been any research done with throttling the flow of passengers boarding a plane, much like how ramp meters work?

David Levinson

Network Reliability in Practice

Evolving Transportation Networks

Place and Plexus

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Assessing the Benefits and Costs of Intelligent Transportation Systems

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This page contains a single entry by David Levinson published on September 6, 2011 9:53 AM.

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