Jeff Wood
Urban Reads

Ignoring the Costs of Induced Vehicle Travel

All the city news you can use.

By - Mar 5th, 2023 02:58 pm
Interstate 94 Construction. File photo by Jeramey Jannene.

Interstate 94 Construction. File photo by Jeramey Jannene.

Every day at The Overhead Wire we sort through over 1,500 news items about cities and share the best ones with our email list. At the end of the week, we take some of the most popular stories and share them with Urban Milwaukee readers. They are national (or international) links, sometimes entertaining and sometimes absurd, but hopefully useful.

More induced travel denial: A recent piece in Planetizen by Steve Polzin of Arizona State University claims highway expansion criticism is unjustified which drew sharp rebukes from a number of commentators. Highway planners have been getting demand wrong for decades, always projecting massive increases in driving when travel has actually flat lined. But their biggest folly might be continuing to plan for travel speeds and “mobility” rather than access. (Todd Litman | Planetizen and Joe Cortright | City Observatory)

Solving the housing problem locally: With housing a major topic all over the country, states like Colorado are starting to take action to solve the problem. But many communities worry about local control, so some such as Erie Colorado are trying to prove that you don’t need state policies to change the housing outlook. With their Gateway project, Erie hopes to create a main street locally without state intervention that could provide housing and businesses for the community. (Marianne Goodland | Colorado Politics)

Livable streets revisited: Donald Appleyard‘s 1981 book Livable Streets was an important text in understanding the ecology of the street and how cars impact people oriented design. One of the more famous diagrams from the book shows commercial connections based on street width. Now Donald’s son Bruce has updated the text and added to it, following in his father’s footsteps after a driver killed him in Greece in 1982 at age 54. (Bruce Appleyard | Planetizen)

Utah’s gondola gambit: Utah DOT wants to build an 8-mile-long gondola between the Salt Lake City basin and ski resorts in the Wasatch Mountains. Traffic between the two in Little Cottonwood Canyon has become excruciating for travelers sometimes making what is a 40 minute trip into three hours. But not everyone is sold on the solution, believing Utah DOT has cooked the books in favor of their gondola idea. (Aaron Gordon | Motherboard)

Homeowners associations fighting the planet: The homeowners association in America is a big barrier to climate action, particularly reducing the impact of water thirsty lawns. As more water restrictions are enacted around the country especially during the western drought, more rules and regulations about saving water abound. But homeowners associations are an unpredictable barrier to change, worrying more about property values and aesthetics than planetary impact. (Ellen Airhart | Wired Magazine)

Quote of the Week

The 15-Hour City believes everything has its place. Houses go in one location, businesses in another, and in between is a dark sea of soul-crushing concrete and asphalt, a sea of inactivity mimicking the lifeless labyrinth we’ve constructed.

Devin Wallace in McSweeny’s making fun of the 15 minute city controversy.

This week on the podcast, we’re joined by University of Iowa law professor Greg Shill and University of Michigan urban planning professor Jonathan Levine to talk about their new paper, “First Principles in Transportation Law and Policy.”

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Categories: Urban Reads

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