# Recently in Urban interface Category

## Forcing a round object into a square map

The earth is approximately a sphere, yet we try to force this round object into a square grid through the use of latitude and longitude and Ordinance Surveys. Why?

The rationale for use of grids depends on scale. We have naturally come to think of the earth rotating on an axis with a prime meridian reflecting that access on the surface, intersecting the axis at the north and south poles, complemented by an equator belting it. The equator has a natural physical meaning, but the prime meridian is arbitrary. Greenwich, England is no more the start of time than any other place. But longitude, if not latitude is arbitrary. The idea of longitude lines running north-south does have convenience in that it tends to align with the magnetic poles, and benefitting navigation.

Geodesic domes, developed by Buckminster Fuller (who did not invent soccer, but whose name was given to the Fullerene) enclose spherical areas with a mesh of triangles, forming many hexagons and 12 pentagons.

We could remap the earth using geodesic principles. Fuller did this with his Dymaxion Map. The triangular cut marks do not align with latitude and longitude. However, one should be able to align the triangles with either latitude (the equator) or longitude (a prime meridian), though that might cut land masses, which dilutes the political point Fuller was trying to make.

There are many ways to skin the earth, and stretch it out like a tanner stretches leather. The way we present this 3D object in 2D affects how we perceive it. We expect (in western countries) north to be up, and are disoriented when maps are presented otherwise. Yet we don't expect our environment to clue us in very often, we don't typically see compass marks in the pavement to show us which direction is north, to help us reorient (meaning turn to the east, oddly we never reoccident and turn to the west).

The map is the user interface to the environment, and we need to give it more consideration. We should also better embed navigation clues into our environment. Some cities post wayfinding systems around, especially near transit stops. Even (especially?) in the age of the almost ubiquitous smart phone, this still seems wise, so people can keep their eyes looking ahead, focused on the real environment, rather than face down in a phone, or staring into an imaginary distance with glasses.

## Three Seeds for Vital Streets

Now at streets.mn Five Rules for Vital Streets: "There are three seeds:

• A concentration of people (customers, though they need not be spending money, that helps)
• A concentration of stuff (suppliers, who need not be selling)
• An environment that encourages people to spend time doing stuff (marketplace)"
Updated from a Transportationist post: July 12, 2007.

## Welcome to Meteorological Spring

Today I saw one bus unable to get up a hill and one crash, both due to weather conditions (I got some video of the bus after its failure to climb the hill, but none of the crash, which was a minor fender-bender with some grill damage to the offending vehicle with apparently no injuries). Meetings are canceled left and right. My son's school was canceled. My daughter's school (a different school in the same building) was not. Welcome to Meteorological Spring.

More on Why we become such bad drivers when it snows at Streets.MN

## QRious sidewalks

ST sends me to Rio (via AP) which reports Bar codes on sidewalks give tourist info:

"Rio de Janeiro is mixing technology with tradition to provide tourists information about the city by embedding bar codes into the black and white mosaic sidewalks that are a symbol of the city."

This might be a solution to improving navigability, though I think it will puzzle archeologists in 1000 years. The problem of course is it makes people look (1) at their phones rather than the city, and (2) at the sidewalk instead of what's in front of them.

## Menace 2 Society

For reasons mentioned in a previous post, we got a new car. I had been hoping my next car would be self-driving, but that was not to be. The new car needed to be bigger than the previous as we have 3 children who sometimes all need to be transported. The Subaru Forester and similar sized cars are incapable of carrying three children in the back row in three car seats (which is what the law requires in some states, seriously the car seat lobby must be making a fortune on fear-mongering). This requires 3 rows. After filtering for size of car, we considered the Dodge Durango, GMC Acadia, Ford Flex, Honda Odyssey, Honda Pilot, and Toyota Siena. Nissan was out of the running based on previous quality issues (damn poor Sentry that stalled out at intersections), and in the end that did in GM as well (damn poor Chevette that leaked over the driver's foot when it rained, because water accumulated in the vents). Based on quality of ride and build, and reliability (both perceived and real), and the fact that I would not want to be in a minivan, we wound up with the Pilot, which we have nicknamed Menace 2 Society.

The car buying experience was not great (I purchased at Buerkle (pronounced Berkeley) Honda). The salesman let me do a short test drive, I would have preferred to be longer. They had their best price. I asked for lower. They had their Costco price. I asked for lower. They said ok to a lower price (take that Costco price guarantee). I probably could have pushed them more, but I didn't have all day, and didn't want to come back (since I was in a daily rental from Enterprise).

But then they had their financing people. I chose to finance primarily because I don't carry around that much cash, but interest rates are so freakin' low it would make sense in any case. Strangely the finance people also sell the service contracts. I don't have special fondness for dealer service (though they are usually fine in my experience, if pricey), but I like to make one organization responsible for everything so there is a minimum of finger pointing. It seems break-even in costs, based on history with previous cars, though they get some money in advance, but like I said, the interest rates are really low. They also sell the undercoating/rust proofing after-market. There is controversy about this, some say it is like mattress protection, and too expensive or worthless. I plan on holding the car a long time assuming it doesn't break, crash, or the price of gas doesn't go about \$10/gallon, so I am interested in long term preservation. My last car was held 14 years, and after treatment did not rust (but was beginning to rust beforehand at edges with scratches.) At any rate, they sold as a package and it is hard to decompose how much it is for each item. There is an insurance aspect to this, hoping I won't use it, but if something goes wrong in the first 8 years, they can be held accountable.

As part of their service contract, they include a contracted service (Honda Care Roadside Assistance via Cross-Country Motor Club) that is like AAA for stranded cars etc. Good luck finding them though, this is not information they want you to have, or a service they want you to use (since you already paid for it, using it is a cost to them without future revenue.) In some ways I want to test it, and see if it works. I worry though that if I call them I will get a "no one is home" message. We are still AAA members from last season, I am debating re-upping.

Honda Financial Services are not swift with their systems. First, their site says this:

Please note: email spam filters may block our emails from being delivered. If you have a spam blocker, please set it to accept email from: hondafinancialservices@emailnotify.net

Why would this be? Was your server taken over by spammers? Can you not fix this properly?

Second, once you sign up for electronic payments, they don't actually debit the first payment, only the second. Again, why? Then, since you didn't make your first payment (assuming naively that since you signed up, they could deal with it), they send bill collectors after you. Wouldn't it be cheaper to just take the money that was offered the first time.

The car runs and rides very nicely. It feels like I am just gliding down the road (especially compared to a 1998 Subaru Forester). My main complaint is with user interface:

There are so many buttons and dials on the dashboard, if only they had voice control. It does, but it is voice control c. 1998 automated phone tree. You have to push a button, and then wait so long for it to tell you what you can do you have already reached your destinations. I complained about it in the test drive, and the salesman tried to explain that it wasn't the most god-awful terrible piece of crap user interface (or something like that which I muttered), but really, this was a 2012 model, not a 1998 model.

The buttons are sort of randomly placed, environmental controls sandwiched between the radio and the navigation system. The problem is keeping your eye on the road and hitting the right button. I don't have a solution, but I am sure Apple would. Start with fewer buttons, or maybe a touch screen that only gives you controls in the right mode (environment, entertainment, navigation, communications, car statistics, whatever), or maybe a good voice control that actually does what you tell it to.

The GPS is generally accurate in my limited experience, and not too intrusive, but programming it for the destination you want is a pain. Again touch screen would be really nice here. Give me a map, let me point to where I want to go, and then you find the best path from here to there. Or a smart voice control that could understand what I said at a normal rate of speech.

I periodically get surveys from someone on behalf of Honda about whether I would recommend it to a friend or family member. Thus far aside from the UI, I am happy with it, but as the saying goes, YMMV.

## SmarTrip - and the perils of smartcard registration.

A year ago, my mom gave me her SmarTrip card to use on the DC Metro system. SmarTrip, like GoTo, Oyster, and others is a smart card.

I used it on a recent trip to DC to go from the airport to downtown. I then met my mom for "tea". On my way back to the airport, the card no longer worked. The station agent kindly gave me a get of jail free pass, and I made it to the airport. When I asked SmarTrip what happened, they said the card was cancelled. Having not cancelled it myself, I asked who did this (My speculation was on bots harvesting unregistered cards, registering them, canceling, and transfering balances somewhere.). They said they couldn't tell me, but "ask a relative".

My mom, forgetting she gave me the card a year ago, thought she lost it, so cancelled it that morning, since that was the morning she was going to use Metro to meet me in DC, and wanted to transfer the balance to her new card. Lesson, the card is most likely to be cancelled when it is most needed.

She was kind enough to send me a new card in the mail, which I just registered under my own name.

## Carsharing is the mode of the future, and always will be

Avis Budget announced it would acquire Zipcar, the to-date essentially profitless carsharing company, for \$500 Million. The stock today is trading at \$12.22 a share. It is worth noting Zipcar's Stock Price History. It went public in April 2011, and is off \$15.24 per share (55.55 % after today), from an an initial opening shy of \$30 per share.

As a former Zipcar customer (member?) I suspect car sharing is the mode of the future, and like fusion power and Brazil, always will be. While I believe it is possible they will overcome their technical difficulties, the problem of scale remains. Even at the University of Minnesota, one of the largest campuses in the US, there are very few available cars at very few locations. There has been more than a half a decade to work out this problem, it just hasn't taken off.

When I was a graduate student at Berkeley, I was carless, and used the neighborhood Avis as an effective carsharing service, renting a car maybe once or twice a semester. The contract paperwork was a general nuisance, and like any captive customer I was resentful, and the rate killed it. Carsharing with its very high overage charges are in practice similarly expensive. A thicker market would permit lower rates. There are definitely economies of scale AND positive network externalities to be had.

Carsharing is a great idea, and in principle works well if everyone uses it (i.e. if there were a station on every other block, or within 1/4 mile (400 m), just like walking to transit). In the absence of robot cars, this require either really high population densities or really high market penetration. Thus far we have neither in most places. Even with robot cars, it will require a major social change, affecting how people consider property and treat vehicles.

I am convinced people don't want to think about every transaction, and if they are charged per use, obviously would use less, but will be less happy, and more determined to get a car of their own to avoid transaction costs. Just as we went from terminals and mainframes to personal computers, and internet cafes to internet at home, we went from trains and transit to private transportation once we could afford it. The cost savings will have to be considerable for people to want to go back.

The best market of course is the urban hipster: with enough money to afford, enough transit to get to work and back with minimum hassle, enough childlessness to have a regular schedule, enough desire to signal greenness to avoid owning a car, but enough sense and desire for dates in the country to recognize the occasional need. This is a non-zero market, Avis assesses at over \$500 million in net present value of profit over the discounted future. About half the price of a new NFL stadium (about one-half a giga-dollar).

## London’s black cabs to get free high-speed WiFi hotspots from early 2013 - The Next Web

If anyone was wondering why Google is interested in self-driving vehicles ... imagine the future as robot black cabs. The Next Web: London’s black cabs to get free high-speed WiFi hotspots from early 2013

## The Next Big OS War Is In Your Dashboard

Wired Autopia: The Next Big OS War Is In Your Dashboard :

"‘The theme I hear time and time again from every single one of our customers is you’ve got to help us move at the pace of consumer electronics,’ Derek Kuhn, vice president of sales and marketing for QNX Software Systems, told Wired. ‘It’s no longer acceptable to innovate at the pace of automotive.’"

## Sidewalk Obstructionism

| 1 Comment

On my usual commute home, I have recently faced this (left image) Do Not Enter sign on the west entrance of the newly remodeled and rebranded The Commons Hotel (Harvard just north of Washington Ave). The sign, aimed at convincing drivers not to enter the drive way the wrong way, was placed in front of the sidewalk curb cut, sandbagged so it did not blow down. I asked staff of the hotel about it (made him come out and look), and while quite gracious, he said it was the University of Minnesota's doing. He promised to call them. Two days later, nothing had happened. I don't know if he didn't call, or if he was routed to the University's Department of Sidewalk Operations, Obstruction Division, Do Not Enter Unit, and they did not do anything. A sign in the middle of a street would have been moved.

You might say, just walk on the other side of the street. But cars disgorge from the Washington Avenue Ramp, and it is even more unpleasant. Or walk around it (which I did), but that is inefficient for all concerned, and impossible for wheelchairs, who are forced into the street or driveway.

I moved it myself. Why does that feel illegal? I hope the rain or something else takes care of the loose sand.

Surely there is a better design to convince drivers not to go the wrong way on a one-way driveway than an ugly sign, though it might require some concrete. We need better self-explaining roads and driveways.

## Mobile phones for driving safety:

Green Car Congress: New Mobile Life Guard app monitors driving behavior and issues verbal alerts:

"Ram Dantu, a professor of computer science and engineering at the University of North Texas, is developing ‘Mobile Life Guard’—a mobile app that will enable smart phones to detect weather, road conditions and bad driving using existing sensors in the devices.

...

The app then issues a verbal alert, such as ‘Sudden accelerate’; ‘Hard braking’; ‘vehicle wandering detected’; ‘tailgating detected’; ‘lane hopping detected’; ‘bad right (or left) lane change’; or ‘left (or right) swerve detected’, among other things. It also will warn you not to talk or text."

JW writes:

I've suggested to a number of people that smart phones could detect when a car is driven in congested conditions. This article seems to confirm that.

The reason this is important is that for road pricing you want to internalize the negative externality of congestion. Time of day pricing is not as effective as detecting when a vehicle is actually in congestion. Time of day pricing actually charges drivers for externalities they are not imposing on others. The smart phone app could also address privacy issues because it would be unnecessary to determine where the vehicle is to charge congestion pricing rates. The congestion charge could be allocated statistically based on congestion observed through traffic management centers or regional transportation models.

"3 of every 4 states that have enacted a ban on texting while driving have seen crashes actually go up rather than down"

From Tim Haab: @ Environmental Economics: Moral (road) hazard:

"It's perplexing for both police and lawmakers throughout the U.S.: They want to do something about the danger of texting while driving, a major road hazard, but banning the practice seems to make it even more dangerous.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety says that 3 of every 4 states that have enacted a ban on texting while driving have seen crashes actually go up rather than down.

It's hard to pin down exactly why this is the case, but experts believe it is a result of people trying to avoid getting caught in states with stiff penalties. Folks trying to keep their phones out of view will often hold the phone much lower, below the wheel perhaps, in order to keep it out of view. That means the driver's eyes are looking down and away from the road.
"

## Traffic Control Device for Non-Vehicular Traffic Vehicles « Getting Around Minneapolis

Getting Around Minneapolis: Traffic Control Device for Non-Vehicular Traffic Vehicles : ""

Alex nails it. Application of motor vehicle traffic control devices to pedestrians is wrong.

## Walking in the street is HIGHLY DANGEROUS and PROHIBITED by Law

I saw this sign at a new construction project "The Station on Washington" at Washington Avenue Transit Mall and Walnut Street the other day. It says:

"Walking in the street is HIGHLY DANGEROUS and PROHIBITED by Law".

I don't disagree that walking in the street is HIGHLY DANGEROUS. Is it really PROHIBITED though? If I park on the side of the road, must I exit through the passenger door? If so, it is the least enforced law on the books. I know the sign is not official, I can tell from the wrong typeface and mixed use of capital and lowercase letters.

I believe (i.e. the City of Minneapolis tells me) that "Mid-block crossings are illegal if there are traffic signals at both ends of the block." also "State statute requires pedestrians crossing mid-block (between 2 intersections) to yield to vehicles, unless a mid-block crossing is marked. " That is not the case here, only at one end is a traffic signal. They also give me the tip "Always walk on the sidewalk; if there is no sidewalk on either side of the street, or if the sidewalk is inaccessible, walk facing vehicles. "

The actual law says:

Subd. 5. Walk on left side of roadway. Pedestrians when walking or moving in a wheelchair along a roadway shall, when practicable, walk or move on the left side of the roadway or its shoulder giving way to oncoming traffic. Where sidewalks are provided and are accessible and usable it shall be unlawful for any pedestrian to walk or move in a wheelchair along and upon an adjacent roadway.

So if a sidewalk is provided and accessible you do have to use it. Should not a sidewalk be on both sides of the road to be "accessible"? This does not answer the question about exiting a parked car. Maybe I should climb on the roof to avoid walking upon the adjacent roadway.

At any rate, to my disappointment, the sign is not actually lying.

Which moves us to the next question: why does a developer (Opus), pitching itself as transit friendly, get to close a sidewalk in an existing pedestrian district? Why are they not taking space from motor vehicles to create a temporary sidewalk? It's not like Walnut does not have plenty of space and very little traffic.

Furthermore, why do the new traffic signals have pedestrian actuators. Shouldn't pedestrians get phases automatically, without pushing a button? I can see maybe as a call button, but not as the only way to get a ped phase.

## Pedestrian Seductive

I don't know how I missed this, Via CA, Patch reports on a "Pedestrian Seductive" project in Hopkins:

"Planners envision Eighth Avenue as a ‘pedestrian seductive’ corridor that will entice riders into the downtown from the light rail station planned for Excelsior Boulevard. This artist's rendering offers one vision of the proposed light rail station and the Eighth Avenue gateway to downtown. Credit City of Hopkins"

Let me just say, watercolors of trees and brick in the sidewalk are hot. However, steps from apartments onto sidewalks are merely amicable. Almost anything would be a higher and better use post-LRT than what is there now.

Wikipedia says the town used to be the Village of West Minneapolis, but took its name from the train station, named for the landowner (Harley H. Hopkins) on whose property the station was built.

The map is here.

## How memory load leaves us ‘blind’ to new visual information

"Professor Nilli Lavie from UCL Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, who led the study, explains: ‘An example of where this is relevant in the real world is when people are following directions on a sat nav [GPS receiver] while driving.

‘Our research would suggest that focusing on remembering the directions we’ve just seen on the screen means that we’re more likely to fail to observe other hazards around us on the road, for example an approaching motorbike or a pedestrian on a crossing, even though we may be ‘looking’ at where we’re going.’"

## Metro Transit Sign Test

Metro Transit is undertaking a Sign Test on routes 54 and 74. (Top Figure)

"Use the “Stop Number” at the bottom of the sign to access predicted real-time departures via NexTrip at metrotransit.org/mobile and metrotransit.org. By summer 2012, you’ll also be able to access information by Bus Stop Number at 612-373-3333."

OK, better than not having the information (second figure), but the sign itself should convey information (third and fourth figures) about:

(1) which routes serve the stop,

(2) where they go,

(3) how often they run,

(4) what time of day they run.

I am not always looking at a smartphone, (I may not even have one). I don't want to have to look at a smartphone for basic information. The excuse I have heard is that it will be expensive to deploy the signs and make it more difficult to reschedule buses, since someone will have to go out and change the signs. Yes, of course that is true, but aren't these the same people who tell me the value of LRT is its permanence rather than a bus's flexibility? A small signal of permanence about bus routing might be warranted.

## An unmarked crosswalk exists at every single intersection

Stop and Move blog (via GGW): Bee actually mentions 'unmarked crosswalk' in report:

" The Fresno Bee ran a sad story today about a mother and her daughter being hit by a motorist driving a pickup truck while crossing the road on the way to school. A vehicle in one lane had stopped to let the two cross and the other driver decided to ignore that and continue past the stopped vehicle, hitting them. The daughter is ok, the mother is in the hospital.

Many things can be said about the story, but this is what caught my eye:

The driver was eastbound on Clinton Avenue as the woman and the girl were in an unmarked crosswalk walking to the north side of the street.

I don't know if it was the reporter, Jim Guy who noted this, or if it was brought to his attention by Police Sgt. Anthony Dewall who was interviewed for the article but....

Well done.

Not enough people understand that in California, an unmarked crosswalk exists at every single intersection and has the same legal standing as a marked one. That is, the pedestrian has the right of way, and the vehicles must stop.

Noting the law doesn't change the unfortunate collision, but it DOES affect perception.  And that actually means a lot.
"

## Mapping Silicon Valley's Own Private "iWay"

Mike Isaac - Social - AllThingsD: Mapping Silicon Valley's Own Private "iWay" :

"That’s why many engineers live in the much more hip San Francisco, relying on the private network of shuttle services provided by each of the major tech outfits, which have no issue carting their young, valuable staff back and forth through the 40-mile stretch between the Valley and the City by the Bay."

Original here.

## How Google Builds Its Maps—and What It Means for the Future of Everything

Alexis Madrigal @ The Atlantic: How Google Builds Its Maps—and What It Means for the Future of Everything - Technology :

"Or as my friend and sci-fi novelist Robin Sloan put it to me, 'I maintain that this is Google's core asset. In 50 years, Google will be the self-driving car company (powered by this deep map of the world) and, oh, P.S. they still have a search engine somewhere.'

Of course, they will always need one more piece of geographic information to make all this effort worthwhile: You. Where you are, that is. Your location is the current that makes Google's giant geodata machine run. They've built this whole playground as an elaborate lure for you. As good and smart and useful as it is, good luck resisting taking the bait.
"

## Notes on Walking about Harvard Square | streets.mn

Now at streets.mn: Notes on Walking about Harvard Square: ""

## The Metro: Twin Cities Transit Visualized

A new design firm, Carticulate, has pieced together planning documents and laid out Twin Cities (GreaterMSP for corporate types) transit maps in a much nicer way than the Metropolitan Council has … The Metro: Twin Cities Transit Visualized. Their white paper is here.

While there are still bugs (I assume Bottineau is the Blue Line extended, and will go to Brooklyn Center, not Maple Grove; Northstar has not exceeded projections; not all the fonts are consistent in size), the elements of the improved design can be seen on this and other maps they have on their website.

[I have complained about bad maps before. With better design like Carticulate's we can just argue the substance of the lines.]

I would love to see this for buses, and their work on improving bus stop signage.

## ANGIE

At the STREET - Simulating Transportation for Realistic Engineering Education and Training website, we have a new model, ANGIE:

"The Agent-based Network Growth model with Incremental Evolution (ANGIE) models the growth of road networks in several scenarios such as road networks in an artificial grid-like city and the Minneapolis Downtown Skyway network. The philosophy inherent in these models is that accessibility affects road network growth and vice versa. The examples aim to illustrate that different values of accessibility at individual locations can lead to different network topologies."

The model is what we used on two papers:

We welcome feedback.

Via Daring Fireball, @ the I love typography, the typography and fonts blog The design of a signage typeface

Brad Plumer @ WaPo on airline deregulation: Should we worry about cities abandoned by airlines?

Brendon @ streets.mn: Why urbanists (and others) should love the coming of the robot car (Part 1)

"Drivers of large vehicles and bicyclists share the road every day but rarely get an opportunity to see the road through each others eyes.

In this special demonstration event, bicyclists & pedestrians will be able to get behind the wheel of a big rig or bus, sit in the driver's seat, and check blind spots while bikes & pedestrians walk in the street below.

"Share the Road" safety information will be available to all participants.
Thanks in advance for helping us make the University of Minnesota campus a safer place for all!

Reihan Salam @ The Agenda on National Review OnlineA Few Thoughts on Sorting and Agglomeration

Blake Masters: Peter Thiel’s CS183: Startup - Class 4 Notes Essay:

"The Last Mover Advantage … The usual narrative is that capitalism and perfect competition are synonyms. No one is a monopoly. Firms compete and profits are competed away. But that’s a curious narrative. A better one frames capitalism and perfect competition as opposites; capitalism is about the accumulation of capital, whereas the world of perfect competition is one in which you can’t make any money. Why people tend to view capitalism and perfect competition as interchangeable is thus an interesting question that’s worth exploring from several different angles."

DMI News & Views - Viewpoints: Design Thinking: A Solution to Fracture-Critical Systems:

"Fisher: Absolutely. And it’s necessary. The humanities are engaged in a study of the past, the sciences and social sciences study the present, and design is one of the few fields that imagines alternative futures—in a rigorous way."

A collection of Road Markings & Street Furniture from a model RR site.

DeluxeVille: ~Bus Stop Goddess [Some interesting philosophy about riding buses along with interesting examples of vintage bus stop eroticism, who says buses can't be sexy.]

Alex Jones @ Infowars! Mandatory ‘Big Brother’ Black Boxes In All New Cars

"A U.S. House of Representatives committee said it will investigate reports of conflicts of interest at California’s high-speed rail authority when it received federal money to start construction."

Bloomberg: ’Fortune 500’ of 1812 Shows U.S. Banks’ Early Influence [Look at all those Turnpikes and Canals though]

.

## Livehoods

| 1 Comment

Jason Hong sends me to his project: Livehoods:

About the Livehoods Project The Livehoods Project presents a new methodology for studying the dynamics, structure, and character of a city on a large scale using social media and machine learning. Using data such as tweets and check-ins, we are able to discover the hidden structures of the city with machine learning. Our techniques reveal a snap-shot of the dynamic areas the comprise the city, which we call Livehoods.

Livehoods allow us to investigate and explore how people actually use the city, simultaneosly shedding light onto the factors that come together to shape the urban landscape and the social texture of city life, including municipal borders, demographics, economic development, resources, geography, and planning. Livehoods is a research project from the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University.

Cool maps at the site.

## A new Color Scheme for Public Transit

March 32, 2012

You may have heard recently of the decision of the

Metoopolitan Council to name all of the rail and express bus lines after colors. Not wanting to leave out the local bus routes, they made a decision to rename the bus lines after colors as well.

Therefore, bus routes that intersect with the newly named Blue line LRT will be named after shades of Blue. Some of the new routes are listed below:

• Route 2 will now be referred to as the Sailor's Delight line

• Route 3 as Birds of a Feather

• Route 5 as Midnight Clearing

• Route 7 as Bluesday Afternoon

Similarly, all of the bus routes that feed the new Green Line LRT will be named after shades of Green.

These include the following changes:

• Route 16 will now be referred to as Mr. Pistachio
• Route 62 as Ribbet!
• Route 65 as Lemony Lime
• Route 87 as Cricket Hop Green

The Director of Interior Design at the Metoopolitan Council, Dr. Ronald "Dutch" Buoy, suggested that the system will aid navigability and reduce complexity associated with using buses. He also said that each bus will be repainted to indicate which line it will serve. He advised "Just look for the color of the bus that is going to your destination." He further suggested "People don't like numbers, Math is Hard!"

Critic of the decision, former Metoopolian Council Chair bell peters declared it was "Too Matchy-Matchy".

Any routes that don't intersect the LRT system will be discontinued once this system is deployed. And lines that intersect more than one LRT route will also be discontinued. "We aim to build a tree upon which the Twin Cities transit users can travel." stated Metoopolitan Council director of Network Services Name Redacted. "It will also be easier to model, since there will be only one transfer point."

We wish to learn the lesson of Transantiago and concentrate as much traffic on as few vehicles as possible. "Our plan is to just do this one day without notice, so as not to needlessly worry our customers." the Metoopolitan Director of Public Relations suggested. People inconvenienced by the system are advised to change jobs to somewhere in downtown Minneapolis.

The press release did not include the full list of route changes. If you, my loyal Transportationistas, uncover any others, please post them to the comments section.

This page is an archive of recent entries in the Urban interface category.

Underground is the previous category.

Urban Systems is the next category.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.