Linklist: April 4, 2012

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Strib: Judge rejects Roseville impact-fee ordinance. Streets.mn also discusses. [Rational Nexus, Rational Nexus, Rational Nexus]

twin city sidewalks: Department of Transportation Buildings of America #1

David King @ Getting from here to there: Steady Progress Toward Autonomous Cars:

"Rather than one day having a brand new model of fully autonomous vehicles, it is most likely that parts of the driving experience will be computerized (for instance fully autonomous freeway driving, just as fully autonomous parking is now commonplace) before the entire experience will be computerized. By encouraging and supporting incremental advances the technological, political and legal issues will have a chance to develop together, and adoption of new and safer technologies will happen faster. Consider what is happening with electric cars as a similar type of issue with deployment of new technologies. Electric cars are just not very popular as few people are adopting the revolutionary powertrains. The Chevy Volt is on hiatus, and Chevy just announced that it will be on hiatus an additional week. George W. Bush's "Freedom Car" and Arnold Schwarzenegger's "Hydrogen Highway" were failures, as was the entire "hydrogen revolution" because the infrastructure and technology isn't there to support widespread adoption, and still aren't. Maybe someday in the future hydrogen will be a standard fuel, but now people tend to really like their hybrids (Toyota is setting sales records with it's Prius models) which are an incremental improvement to what people already use.

All of this is to say don't hold your breath that autonomous vehicle technologies will first appear in a fully, full-time autonomous car, but also don't expect that driverless cars will not become commonplace. Drivers are already ceding some driving to their cars, and over time they will cede more and more until the driver is simply a passenger. Then someday no one will remember that is was ever any different."

David King @ Getting from here to there: Why Didn't California Propose a Faster, Cheaper and Better High Speed Rail Project in the First Place?:

"Ultimately, all of the business plans, wild swings in price and size, and dubious claims of benefits leave me with the feeling that no one knows what, exactly, this train is supposed to accomplish. We can optimize transportation networks for various purposes, but I don't see any evidence that the California HSR project is being optimized for any reason other than to prove that it can be built, at any cost."


Cap't Transit sends me to this:IND Station Tile Colors

Nokohaha: Vegetable Man! Where Are You? :

"There was a time when Saturday mornings brought parade of vendors to good old Lincoln Avenue in Saint Paul. It often began with the Melon Man in a long wagon leaded with watermelons. He’d shout at the top of his voice at 6am waking up everybody in neighborhood. Pretty soon there followed the Vegetable Man, also with a horse-drawn wagon. All the housewives in the area had a soft spot for his amazing carrots and cucumbers. Next came Filthy Junk and Rag Man. The kids loved to harass him and call him names. He never got mad at them, but he used to spit if they came too close. The Junk Man was often followed by a young Irish woman with wheelbarrow full of Mississippi Mussels, alive, alive-oh!"
[Who says we need to go to the store, the store can come to us]

Autopia: Google Maps Brings Traffic Back

Strib: Transit looks to get going in the south, west metro :

"Experts agree there’s a color line developing in Twin Cities transit: While lots of places fantasize about future transitways, the serious projects are those that are far enough along to have been assigned a color-coded name as part of the Met Council’s so-called “Metro” system. If you have a color, that means you have a line.

Conversely, if you don’t have a color — a Red Line or a Blue Line or another such hue – you don’t have a line. You’re just standing in line."

1 Comment

I agree completely with David King's position. I recommend any of Clayton Christensen's books on innovation as a good decription of how innovation really takes place. Revolutionary innovation that require multiple technological breakthroughs and new infrastuctures just do not happen - even though promoters and the media like to promote them, even though inretrospect the transitions seem to have occurred in a very short time. How many can remember the office "sneaker" net, the first LAN for PC's?

David Levinson

Network Reliability in Practice

Evolving Transportation Networks

Place and Plexus

The Transportation Experience

Access to Destinations

Assessing the Benefits and Costs of Intelligent Transportation Systems

Financing Transportation Networks

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This page contains a single entry by David Levinson published on April 4, 2012 10:46 AM.

Minneapolis, the Venice of the Upper Midwest | streets.mn was the previous entry in this blog.

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