View from a Barcelona streetcar — in 1908 (Pattern Cities)
Excerpt from the text with this wonderful video:
But surely the streets of the 1900′s were not entirely crash-free, or as romantic as this film and its whimsical music make them out to be. Yet, the inherent complexity– the organized chaos of streetcars, pedestrians, horse-drawn carriages, and yes, motorists all mixing together–is instructive and should make any urbanist long for a time when the tyranny of the automobile didn’t dominate the project of city building.
More MTA = Less CO2 (New York MTA)
A fascinating and short report about the New York MTA’s work to reduce its energy needs and, therefore, the greenhouse gases associated with creating that energy. One example: more rapid bus lines that allow buses to use less CNG. Another: updating monitor systems so that the third rail on the subway doesn’t have to be heated constantly when temperatures are chilly. New Yorkers already use about one-quarter the energy of the average American because they rely on the MTA and drive less.
High-speed rail hopes are off the tracks (L.A. Times)
This opinion piece written by USC professor James Moore — a long-time critic of many rail plans — says that the latest budget deal likely means that the California High-Speed Rail Authority is not going to get federal money it needs to build a San Francisco-to-Anaheim bullet train. Nor, Moore writes, may it even receive money already committed by the feds to the project. “Even if we were prepared to further bankrupt ourselves doing so, we would accomplish nothing that cannot be accomplished much more cheaply by expanding airports, better maintaining and managing roads, and using conventional technology to burn gasoline and jet fuel even more cleanly,” Moore writes.
Also, in Sunday’s New York Times, Stanford professor Richard White in an opinion piece criticizes spending on high-speed rail, saying such projects will only drain government coffers over time because they will have to be chronically subsidized.