22 March 2011

Transbay Terminal video summary per Peter Coyote

He makes it sound so good!

Some quotes from the video.

"The proposed 1,000 foot transit tower, neighboring the transit center will bring many jobs to the area."

"The grand hall is where passengers will stream up to the buses upstairs and the trains downstairs."

"An exciting feature that has been proposed by Cesar Pelli, is a funicular." Sounds like it won't be built unless Mr. Pelli or another source foots the bill, if I can read between the lines.

"The Transit Center will be surrounded by the densest and most beautiful neighborhood in the Bay Area." I sure hope the plans for the neighborhood with its wide sidewalks and parks come to fruition.

"This project will return the SF Bay Area to a culture of mass transit".
I wonder if that was Peter's adlib at the end. ;)

Bay Bridge could move more folks

Arup has released a report on how the Bay Bridge could be made to carry more people across the bay, namely through setting up a contraflow lane on the lower deck during the AM peak. By removing a lane in the eastbound direction during the AM peak, buses could use that lane to go west, and effectively increase the people moving capacity of the Bay Bridge. This is critically important between now and whenever a second transbay tube is built (hopefully before I die).

The major work would involve creating passover lanes from westbound I-80, I-880, and I-580. The good news is that this could be done with very little expense or construction from I-80 which would just have a gap created just south of the Powell Street underpass in Emeryville. The critical I-880 connection is more complicated and would require a new overpass or tunnel to get to the middle of I-80 at the Toll Plaza.

More exciting images and explanations available on in the presentation of the report.

16 March 2011

Travelings map: USA edition

The folks behind the "Visited Countries" now have additional maps you can plug in. Now, Douwe Osinga's project includes maps of the US states, Canadian provinces and thankfully the non-North American-centric maps of Brazil and India, so you can show the different parts of those countries you have visited. 

Below is my visited states map. Clearly I need to get out and make a trip to the South. 

13 March 2011

Motor City wants rails

Can you believe it? Motor City actually wants to build a light rail. And I don't mean those cute Disney style people movers dashing around the waterfront. Thanks to TransportMichigan.org's Joel Batterman, we get a fantastic video describing the Woodward Light Rail Project proposal in Detroit. The video linked here, mixes Eminem, Legos, Environmental Impact Statement comment requests, and the two proposed alignment alternatives. Put together it's the funniest, wonkiest, and most education video I've see for a long time.

You owe it to yourself to watch at least one minute of the video. Even the Detroit Free Press newspaper considers it "Required Reading".

11 March 2011

Generation Hot

Yesterday I attended a SPUR lunchtime presentation on how to prepare our cities to inevitable climate change. Journalist Mark Hertsgaard discussed his book, HOT: Living Through the Next Fifty Years on Earth, which makes the point that "we have to live through global warming, even as we halt and reverse it."

One of the key items coming out of his book is that we, as a people of planet Earth, countries, but also cities and individuals, must think about the problem in a new way. While we try to reverse global warming, we must also install protections against its unavoidable impacts. That means deciding as regions, do we build levees around our airports, but where can we not afford to build protections. The best quote he mentioned crystalizes how to move forward, "avoid the unmanageable and manage the unavoidable." It comes from the title of the Sigma XI-United Nations the subtitle of the report "Confronting Climate Change" by the Scientific Expert Group on Climate Change. I think I have some report reading to do.