HOT Lanes

No. Not anything about the temperature, spicyness or physical attractiveness. High Occupancy Toll Lanes are a fairly recent phenomenon becoming increasingly widespread throughout the USA. A recent Atlantic Cities article covers the introduction of a pretty large scheme, implemented by way of a public private partnership (PPP) in Washington DC: The expanded roadway – two lanes in each direction, from the I-95 interchange to Tysons Corner – will be made of High-Occupancy Tolls, or HOT lanes. Carpools of three or more, buses and motorcycles (but not hybrids) can drive them for free. Anyone else who wants in will have to pony up according to a dynamic pricing scheme, and there’s …
18 Comments

Paying a premium for walkability

Another really interesting article from The Atlantic Cities, this time looking at the price premium people are increasingly willing to pay to locate in a walkable neighbourhood: Instinct probably tells you that you’ll pay a lot more to live in a downtown apartment, above a grocery store, next to a bar strip and within walking distance of your work place than you will to settle into a comparable home in a bedroom community outside of the city. As this model of compact urban living grows more popular – and every new housing projection reaffirms that it is – walkable places are also growing more expensive. Just how much more expensive, …
0 Comments

Land Hungry Cars

Seems like the best way to become a regular blogger on this site is to continually bombard the authors with Guest Posts – I’m excited about joining the team! One of the fundamental geometric advantages of public transport is that it uses less space to shift a certain number of people, than your typical car does. This is most often talked about in terms of corridor space, with such metrics as “this railway line carries the equivalent of ten lanes of traffic” being commonly discussed. This is very true of course, but misses another element of the comparison – which is storage space. While rail and bus depots look fairly …
3 Comments

The difference rail makes

A few days back I wrote a post about the connections between the “City Centre Master Plan” that Auckland Council is working on, and key transport projects to reduce vehicle numbers in the CBD – most particularly the CBD Rail Tunnel project. The key message in that post was to question whether the rail tunnel business case had properly considered changes to the CBD’s roading network in the future – arising from the Master Plan – that seem likely to reduce general capacity for private vehicles in order to improve the area’s pedestrian friendliness. This connection between projects like the CBD Rail Tunnel and the quality of the city centre …
10 Comments

K Street Transitway

One of the interesting things to come out of the December meeting of the Auckland Council Transport Committee was a new look at a “way forward” on the Dominion Road issue. The minutes of the council meeting recorded: Of particular note is the specific mention that “median bus lanes” should be considered. I’ve discussed the idea of this before and it seems that the median bus lane idea has also caught on for the Ti Rakau Drive section of AMETI. It would seem that there’s growing recognition of the advantages that arise from chucking the bus lanes in the middle of the road rather than at the sides. Most particularly, …
8 Comments

Washington DC Metro Photos

For some reason, while I had always planned to post a selection of photos from my visit to Washington DC as part of last month’s holiday, I never quite got around to it. It seems to be a relatively slow day for transport news, so here’s some great rail eye candy from the Washington DC Metro:While I knew about the concrete “vaulted” design of the stations, I wasn’t actually aware that all the underground stations had this design. One might think that the repetitive design would become boring, but actually I felt it was really good – giving a consistent feel to the system as a whole and making it …
11 Comments

Back in NZ

After a marathon three flights (New York to LA, LA to Sydney and Sydney to Auckland), we finally made it back to the country this afternoon. I’m obviously pretty exhausted still, and it’ll be a while until I can complete both a full rundown of my thoughts on the holiday – and in particular what lessons I think would be useful for Auckland to learn from the public transport systems of the various cities I visited – as well as a bit of a catch up on what’s happened, and is still happening in the world of transport in Auckland. For now, here’s a photo of a Washington DC Metro …
33 Comments

Back to NYC

So we are now on the final stretch of our holiday, with just a few days to go before returning to NZ. Today we caught an Amtrak train from Washington DC to New York, which is a pretty pleasant 3 hour journey. Washington DC is a pretty impressive place, with its grand museums, grand National Mall and grand pretty much everything else you could think of. Of course on a transport blog, how could I talk about DC and not mention its Metro. Of a similar vintage to the Montreal Metro, the DC Metro is basically everything that is right about late 20th century public transport projects (I will talk …
47 Comments

North America Trip

As I noted in yesterday’s blog post, which went on to rather dominate the comments thread, I will be out of the country in North America between September 3rd and September 26th. Leila and I are taking a three week holiday that has been about two years in planning. The plan is as follows: September 3rd: fly to New York September 3-7: stay in New York September 8th: Amtrak train from New York to Boston September 8-10:stay in Boston September 11: Flight from Boston to Montreal September 11-16: staying in Montreal and Quebec City (train between cities) September 17: fly from Montreal to Washington DC September 17-20: staying in Washington …
12 Comments