Why cars will always dominate urban transit

By Ross Elliott, cross-posted from The Pulse:

Schlomo ‘Solly’ Angel is a world renowned urbanist and author of countless books including “Atlas of Urban Expansion”, “Planet of Cities” and “Tale of Scale.” He is adjunct professor at New York University (NYU) and senior research scholar at the NYU Stern Urbanization Project, where he leads the Urban Expansion initiative. He has advised the United Nations, the World Bank, and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).

So when Solly Angel observes that across the United States that “the great majority of workplaces (are) now dispersed outside CBDs, employment sub-centers or live-work communities, and (are) beyond walking or biking distance” he is saying so as a well-informed global expert.

He goes on to conclude that as a result “increasing the productivity of American cities requires a sustained focus on meeting the travel demands of the great majority of commuters rather than on improving mobility at large or on transportation strategies focused on CBDs, employment sub-centers, or live-work communities.”

Essentially, the point he is making is that few cities observe the deterministic overlays imposed by urban planners for the sake of convenient analysis. The monocentric model (a high density CBD to which a majority of workers commute from outlying dormitory areas) he claims almost never exists in reality (although oddly, this model describes widely held prejudices about our own urban form).

The poly-centric model (with multiple centres) is he says equally more often described in theory than in practice. There are various other urban models, including what he calls “the maximum disorder model” (which I love the sound of) but the one that he argues best describes the majority of US cities is the “constrained dispersal model” where “the great majority of jobs are dispersed throughout the metropolitan area and where workers and workplaces in a metropolitan-wide labor market adjust their locations to be within an tolerable commute range of each other.” Makes sense, hey?

In a nutshell, because we live and work in largely randomized locations across cities, a focus on urban productivity needs to acknowledge this reality and try to create transport systems that cater for the majority of commuters, not just a proportion who can be serviced by public transport in high density cores. In his words:

“While we do not have to accept this state of affairs as “the best of all possible worlds”, as Voltaire’s  Candide would have it, we do have to acknowledge it and to understand that the future of our cities is path dependent: the cities of the future will be variations on the cities of today and, barring catastrophes and calamities of one kind or another, any changes in  their spatial structure and their built form are likely to be gradual and marginal, building upon their existing spatial structure. The same observation also applies to commuting patterns: most commuting patterns are quite likely to be between dispersed residences and dispersed workplaces for a long time to come.”

In Australia, much like the USA, CBDs do not dominate as metro wide employment hubs (as they might in a hypothetical mono-centric model). They are significant but not dominant. In some cases, their significance is eroding – not because they are shrinking, but because the suburban economy is growing faster. In Sydney and Melbourne for example, inner city jobs (being the CBD plus surrounds, described as the SA3 by the ABS) represent 22% and 21% of metro wide jobs respectively. In Brisbane the figure is lower – with the inner city representing 14% of regional jobs. Interestingly, while Brisbane’s inner city added 12,802 jobs (full and part time and casual) in the 2011-2016 period (growing by 7%) the Greater Brisbane region added nine times that number at 112,517 jobs in the same period, growing faster at 12%.

Much like the USA, our major cities mostly fit Solly’s “constrained dispersal” model. Plus, with the two fastest growing future industries being health and education, that pattern of dispersal is likely to increase over time. So to ensure our cities remain economically productive, urban transport policy should ideally support the efficient movement of the greater majority of people from home to work and during work. Cycling, walking, and traditional modes of public transport are suitable for some of the working population, but nowhere near a majority. For the majority of workers, the rational transit solution is the car.

Which makes the relentless public policy and media assault on the private car a strange thing. For the majority of workers in dispersed urban locations, it offers door to door convenience, it is on demand (ready when they are), it is comfortable (and often air conditioned), and generally quite affordable. As a transport choice, it also generates substantial government revenues via taxes (fuel excise, registration fees, etc) compared with public transport which consumes a great deal more in subsidies than it generates via the fare box.

We have fallen into a habit of blaming congestion on the car but we also need to accept that more people (a bigger population) trying to get around on the same road space is – mathematically and inevitably – going to mean more congestion. Public transport has an important role to play but its ability to “solve” congestion has been oversold. Unless worldwide patterns of employment dispersal are suddenly and radically reversed and the monocentric urban model materializes overnight, PT will forever be limited by its convenience for the minority of urban workers with jobs in urban cores or high density suburban centres. Outside this, the 80% of the remaining urban workforce will continue to use cars as a rational and affordable choice. (Additionally, intra urban freight will continue to be totally reliant on private delivery vehicles using the road space).

The horizon for the private car is also not bleak, as some might suggest. Advances in driverless technology, car sharing and other innovations in urban mobility that revolve around better ways to make use of private vehicles (which for many sit idle 20 out of 24 hours) are worthy of exploration, but receive little public policy attention (or investment). So far anyway.

Addressing urban congestion therefore should require a balanced policy which accepts the critical role played by private transport and the road network, along with the critical role played by public transport. Demonising the car, or suggesting that it can be largely replaced by walking or cycling or PT for a majority of the population, is delusional given the spatial reality of our urban economies. If this thinking finds its way into public policy practice, it goes from delusional to dangerous.

You can read Solly Angel’s work on Commuting and the Spatial Structure of American Cities, via this link.

Comments

  1. This 4th IR revolution has barely kicked off.
    Already the biggest sector of the economy is the service sector
    The biggest employer in the service sector is the Govt
    The biggest portion of the service sector is health.
    Apart from hands on health issues, the health system is being automated
    Apart from the hands on portion of the govt, eg govt employees doing physical work
    The govt is converting its human input to AI systems
    The private sector of the economy is already well automated, eg flight centre Qantas
    As data bases are established with technology like blockchain
    The roll out of automation will make about 40% of the workforce redundant in 8 years
    So say the CSIRO.
    So 40% wont need to travel for work
    They can sit at home under a shady tree, blackfellah style.
    That is where we are heading
    Tip, paperbark and tee trees provide cool shade.
    All this rush to the city will be reversed. Like Detroit

  2. It is nonsense to talk about “cities”. You need to talk about medium-sized cities and large cities. Large cities are divided into two classes: those with good mass transit (London, Paris, New York, San Francisco..) and those that are unliveable.

  3. Who is paying Solly’s tab? The idea that we can continue indefinitely with private vehicle ownership is absurd. The CO2 embodied in each vehicle’s manufacture is high, too high for a world in panicked carbon emission cutting. I predict that by 2050, the era of individual car ownership will be long over, and even the electric, driverless ubers that people foresee will be coming to an end.

  4. Personal mobility is never going away – especially in a huge country like Australia where most people like to live with a bit of personal space (and to have room for their solar panels)

    If people can’t afford to drive a car they will drive/ride motorbikes instead – possibly electric ones – rather than rely entirely on public transport. Though the righteous will do their best to stop them by forcing as many people as possible to live in cramped apartments above railway stations and bus stops.
    A lot of people on motorbikes can fit on a road as any visit to South East Asia will demonstrate.

    150km range would be fine for most commuting.

    https://www.afr.com/lifestyle/cars-bikes-and-boats/road-bikes/the-zero-fx-is-an-electric-motorbike-to-get-excited-about-20180723-h131za

    More people might be riding them now but for the fact that they are still prepared to pay the rising cost of petrol and are rightly fearful of the number of loonies behind the wheel, driving cars like maniacs.

    • Isn’t it weird the way Solly does not even mention the possibility of a carbon-constrained world where people have to adapt (and do things like use electric bikes, as you suggest)? Typical American, and probably carrying water for some corporation.

      • It is a bit but probably just reflects the status quo in many countries where people haven’t really had to think hard about alternatives to driving around in a large chunk of steel.

        The car industry have done an amazing job of improving the efficiency of the internal combustion engine and that has made a big difference to putting off the day of reckoning. Some of the tanks on the road get impressive economy compared to what an old Holden sedan managed in the 1970s.

        The other thing that has kept the current car obsession going has been the cost of fuel.

        I am still surprised that it costs as little as it does considering how many more people on the planet are burning up such a precious and finite resource. That is going to change and judging from the amount of R&D going into batteries and electric vehicles more than a few people anticipate it will happen sooner rather than later.

        Our cities and towns would be much more pleasant if most people who can’t use public transport for their commuting and running around were using small / light / quiet / emission free electric vehicles.

      • I have many friends that are reaching retirement age but are still physically very active. Invariably when they give up the daily commute to work they replace their small city-car with a full sized LandCruiser or something bigger that can tow a boat or Caravan or or or. sometimes it’s a sports car or even a light airplane. I can’t think of a single instance where anyone (that didn’t need the car as a daily driver) decided to replace their car with an Ebike or standard Bike although a few did buy high end Mountain bikes which they dutifully hang off the back of their Sport Utility…they might be retired they’re still young and sporty you know (60 is the new 40)

      • they replace their small city-car with a full sized LandCruiser

        Their (and my) generation is the last to admit that AGW is real, and even those who know it’s true have decided to go out in a blaze of fossil-fueled glory, and devil damn the hindmost. Lovely, that’s the human animal for you.

        I am still surprised that it costs as little as it does

        Externalise the real cost and you can make anything cheap

      • Solly Angel and his colleagues like Bertaud and Romer are in the top rank of urban experts in the world and your ad hominem slurs are just petty and ignorant. When it comes to corporations and 0.1% rentiers on the take, nothing beats the racket in urban property when people are trapped in market-rigging conditions that force them to pay the maximum they can stand for space. Even Piketty’s own data has been shown by other economists, to reveal that trends in inequality are almost entirely explained by urban land price trends. Inequality fell as automobility expanded the available land for urban economies and flattened the extractive powers of the landlord class; and then started to increase again as soon as urban planners started “saving the planet” with urban land rationing.

        In so far as any “corporations” might earn profits through automobility, it is at least profit from providing goods and services in which there is consumer surplus, and in which they are in competition with other corporations. In contrast, urban property rentier profits and the associated profiteering in mortgage lending, are zero-sum wealth transfers.

    • Yes, I think the car will morph into motorbikes/quadbikes as you will be able to achieve much greater flow with narrower vehicles, and they will flow just like the motorbikes of Hanoi only faster as computers will control things, so all those empty roads between traffic lights, between travelling cars etc will be used, so not as bad as Solly thinks, I suspect.

      • Yes – apart from the occasion trip out of the city most of my trips could be done with a glorified motor-bike / trike. I would ride a motorbike except for douche factor in Sydney is too high.

        A 2 seater with a small boot – top speed of about 80k and range of 100 km without charging would do the job.

    • You can tell who has never spent a day in a city with incredibly public transport, let alone lived in them – its so obviously the best option that any conversation to the contrary is simply laughed out of the room. It is met with EXACTLY the same ubiquitous condemnation as Americans claiming their health system is the best in the world and guns don’t kill people horse palava.

      It really is embarrassing to even hear this kind of intellectual carrion being dragged out from under the wool shed propped up against the wall and sold to us a A-Grade beef.

      • As an ex-American, I can attest that their public transport is, for the most part, woeful, and there are many corporations and a lot of money who want to keep it that way. Cue Shlomo with his cash-for-comments. Why it is repeated here at MB is a mystery.

      • Fake Philosopher (though fantasy novel character is very appropriate too),

        “..You can tell who has never spent a day in a city with incredibly public transport,..”

        What fantasy city is that ? You must slum it as plenty of the richer people in those great public transport cities still use their cars and private forms of public transport like cabs or personal drivers and ‘town cars’.

        ALL of the cities with great public transport are also full of cars as well unless they have been banned or restricted by regulation.

        You should get back to your usual turf of defending authoritarian regimes like the CCP.

      • To be clear, when I talk about a motorbike/quadbike I’m talking about a fully enclosed vehicle, not the sort of thing we currently have, really a single person car, that could be electronically linked for when you take her kids out you just call up as many as you require on your Uber app. I agree public transport would be the best & most efficient, so that would be my preferred option, but suspect people will opt for paying a little more for convenience of a personal vehicle to arrive at their door. But probably it’ll be a mix, eg train like vehicle for longer thrills into centres like Parramatta then personal vehicle. Will be interesting time.

      • ALL of the cities with great public transport are also full of cars as well unless they have been banned or restricted by regulation.

        Also, if you ask people whether they would prefer to use cars or public transport, most usually say cars.

      • You have to have a benign view of self drive cars to make that call. In my view, the tech risk for a company like Transurban is massive. Self drive cars will reduce vehicle trips and when no one is in the car it won’t have to use the toll road.

      • Self drive cars will reduce vehicle trips and when no one is in the car it won’t have to use the toll road.

        Huh? Surely driverless cars will *increase* vehicle trips ?

        Who’s going to want to share a train/bus with a bunch of people when they can jump into a car and read a book/watch TV/have a wank in blissful isolation on the way to work ?


      • Who’s going to want to share a train/bus with a bunch of people when they can jump into a car and enjoy their solitude…

        To say nothing of driverless cars taking passengerless trips to pick up additional passengers.
        Dad/ mum at work to kid at school to home becomes car from dad/mum’s work to kid’s school back to dad/mum’s work back to home if privately owned or just place to place with passenger followed by place to place without passenger if carshare model.

    • u cant go from historical data
      when the economy is going into free fall
      punters will be too poor to afford food
      letalone rego and petrol
      and
      British companies are planning to microchip their employees to boost security and stop staff from accessing sensitive areas of the business, The Sunday Telegraph has learnt.
      WW this is the intermediate step in the elimination of personnel

      • I would have thought picking the exact date of the single biggest mining boom in any nations history for all of recorded history to judge expenditure on luxury items was a perfectly sound, totally unbiased measure.

      • How about that train in the pilbara
        ran all that distance without assistance frm the locomotives
        the strayan economy is not like that
        without the locomotives pumping in the debt
        it will remain stranded way out in the desert
        and the punters will expire
        slowly at first, then with haste.

  5. The future belongs to networked electric autonomous vehicles – land-based or airborne. Solves problems of congestion, growth, consumer preferences, and spatial flexibility. All these new PT projects will be white elephants.

  6. A week or two ago, I typed “SkyTran” into Google News. The latest news is that a billionaire, worth twice as much as Elon Musk, has purchased 12.7% of SkyTran.

    I have long hoped that SkyTran is the future of transport. A video on SkyTran: https://vimeo.com/259066254

    Electric cars that are 2 metres wide and weigh 2 tonnes are not a good use of resources.

  7. Hi – Melbourne CBD at 22% does not dominate ?

    Can you then please tell us which suburb does dominate ?

    No ?

    the productivity of American cities requires a sustained focus on meeting the travel demands of the great majority of commuters

    Yeah – a Freeway with 100% occupancy would carry 6,000 cars per hour at 100kph. That’s 24,000 passengers per hour.

    Impressive. Except almost all cars are single occupancy taking that figure down to at best 8-10,000 / hour. And peak hour traffic in Melbourne is running at 30jkph – taking that down to about 2,000 cars per hour.

    Just utterly absurd – ridiculous.

    A SINGLE train carries 30,000 / hour. A single train line generally carries 450,000 people per day with 10 lines running that would be the current entire capacity of Melbourne in a single day.

    The thing is that – watching people who deny global warming cherry pick their one and only credentialed “expert” out of a field of millions of dissenting voices – is that the pattern of self serving selective bias becomes incredibly easy to spot in any other debate from those pushing a dilapidated agenda so broken the wheels fell of long ago.

    Your absurd obsessive compulsive hatred of trains and public transport isn’t really news to anyone – its more of a slack jawed gaping mouthed wonder at the almost total lack of self awareness at how utterly inane it is.

    Your technical capacity at town planning is only matched in its total incapacity by your technical capacity on the internet – truly no idea. But keep up the side show – its great viewing.

    Anything on economics you want to offer us ?

    • I pay for a membership so I can write silly sprays in the MB comments section. From a purely economic perspective, I’d like to see you pay for a membership too.

      • LSWCHP,

        The Fake Philosopher trial account has been around for years though only recently switched to fantasy novel characters.

        The entertaining hysterical Tokyo Rose style is the key redeeming feature. Though usually the obsessions are with advanced sino military weapons rather than forcing everyone to share a carriage with sweaty randoms.

        Unfortunately, MB membership is not possible as that would involve breaking cover (there are a few others in that category).

        Just relax and enjoy the ride.


      • Unfortunately, MB membership is not possible as that would involve breaking cover (there are a few others in that category).

        Although you shouldn’t assume there aren’t non-member commenters who are simply either tight or broke.

      • @pfh Ah…of course.

        I used to recognise all the mathematicians and scientists, but I haven’t read much Sci Fi lately. Interesting.

      • Robert,

        A “few” others in that category fortunately not many.

        The ones I have in mind are prone to making it clear that money is no barrier to membership. If tight is their excuse well they have no reason to complain about the economy being managed by their fellow travellers.

        As long time readers would know I have always argued for allowing as much content as possible to be available free of charge. The more people who read the content the better.

        But nothing is free and that access is made possible in part by paying subscribers which is why I do what I can to promote MB across multiple channels.

        The more paying subscribers there are the more free content there can be for those unwaged and low income readers.

    • I have some economics to offer, which happens to be important. When you concentrate the workforce and workplaces around relatively few locations, “because” so many people “can be” transported in those corridors, what happens to the value of land at those locations? In fact what happens is that an equilibrium is found where most of the potential residents and businesses are “priced out”; in real life, dense centrally located clusters do not simply keep adding new participants ad inifinitum. They rapidly become the most exclusionary locations. This is why mass PT is always doomed to fiscal unsustainability and sub-par utilization. In so far as subsidies manage to attract riders who otherwise would not have ridden, this is “a subsidy to the owners of particular types of land, for which there is no social justification” – Colin Clark, “Rural and Urban Location” (1982).

      In contrast, automobile based dispersion and random travel patterns, dilutes land values, and if rural land which is super cheap can be converted without gaming by speculators and rentiers, its price-competitiveness is a major attractor. “Urban” industries are of multiple types with differing requirements for space and abilities to pay for them. Furthermore, centrality is not the only locational feature that is sought by all participants in an urban economy. Expecting all participants in an urban economy to exist in skyscrapers alongside subways, is only slighly less absurd than expecting the farming sector to also locate thus.

      Stephen Morris makes a good point above about agglomeration versus rent-seeking. The superstar cities with skyscrapers, subways and high incomes, contribute almost nothing to aggregate “wealth” in the form of resources converted to goods and services. Almost without exception they are based on “rentier” sectors like finance and bureaucracy, that exist on zero-sum transfers out of the real economy and society.

      Expecting all cities to be like New York City (not the urban area, which is mostly low density and wealth creating) and no cities to be like Houston, Atlanta, Indianapolis or Nashville, is as absurd and utopian as expecting everyone to be a film actor and no-one to be a forklift driver.

      Yes, factories and production predated automobile based urban growth, but look at the working conditions and the constraints on productivity. Automobile based expansion and cheap land enabled massive productivity gains in the economy as a whole. It also ended crowding, housing exploitation, and the rentier-renter social divide; it democratized home ownership and steadily increased the size and quality of housing units for a static real price.

      Dense superstar cities with high incomes based around subways are not only overwhelmingly rentier-based, they are bastions of exclusion; in spite of small housing units, these inevitably cost a lot more than a suburban McMansion in a utilitarian city.

      • Indeed!

        Hopefully the rise of cheap electric powered personal mobility and the desire for home power generation will undercut the strange but persistent idea that forcing people into high rise apartments above railway stations has environmental benefits.

      • Strange EconomicsMEMBER

        Remote urban blocks in Syd and Mel are not cheap – 300 to 400k for the block.
        Add commuting costs of a second car of 15k per year to run.
        If actually added externalities of services – another 300k (like hospitals, schools, community facilities..)
        And no services like the inner city.
        A 2 or 3 bedroom flat in the city is cheaper.
        But restrictive and NIMBY planning keeps stock limited and pricey in the inner city, just like land banking in the outer new areas.

  8. “Why cars will always dominate urban transit.”
    Utter rubbish. And is a self serving and self fulfilling prophecy that has destroyed so many cities.

    People talk about Australia’s large distance, but it distorts reality. We are a highly urbanized country. We have mostly built our cities around cars and therefore cars dominate. If we built our cities around public transport and active transport (walking and cycling) then those would dominate or be much more significant. Sydney used to have one of the largest tram network in the world. But we ripped it up for cars. The choice was made and it was the WRONG one.

    Yep, cars are great in so many ways. But they are terribly inefficient in large urban centres. If people are choosing them it is because our urban planning encourages it and discourages other forms of transport.

    Also:
    “As a transport choice, it also generates substantial government revenues via taxes (fuel excise, registration fees, etc) compared with public transport which consumes a great deal more in subsidies than it generates via the fare box.”

    BS. Road transport is THE most heavily subsidized transport option of them all. Roads don’t appear and get maintained by magic. And lets not get started on the extensive negative externalities….

    • In terms of person-miles of travel, roads public cost is a fraction of a cent. Public transport subsidies seldom costs less than 20 cents per person-mile of travel and for some routes it is as high as a dollar.It is a flat-out falsehood that roads are oversubsidized and PT is not. It is a question of the right framing of the comparison, and “per person mile of travel” is the right equation.

      Externalities are never considered in an unbiased way. The positive externalities to driving are the reason that the overwhelming majority of people do it. There are no equivalent positive externalities (or consumer surplus) to PT, hence the collapse of ridership if subsidies are reduced to honest levels. The negative externalities to driving overwhelmingly fall on the same people as who drive or benefit from automobility, and the social consensus (from revealed preferences) is that people are perfectly happy to tolerate these negative externalities. Pricing them is pointless because this would be making people pay twice for costs that already fall on them.

      PT’s negative externalities are never counted against it; for example community severance from railway lines; the cost of grade separation to avoid inter-mode conflict is always racked up against the road, not the railway; wasted space from parking is always racked up against suburban shopping malls but never against “park and ride”; and so on.

      Anti-automobile, pro-PT activism is unenlightened and a fraud, even if an unwitting one committed out of ignorance.

      • PHIL: “In terms of person-miles of travel, roads public cost is a fraction of a cent.”
        No really they don’t. Ever wondered why so many road projects have a below unity benefit/cost ratio? Ever had a look at how much toll roads charge?

        PHIL: “The positive externalities to driving are the reason that the overwhelming majority of people do it. ”
        It is clear you don’t have and understanding of externalities. Pretty much by definition this statement is false.

        PHIL: ” The negative externalities to driving overwhelmingly fall on the same people as who drive or benefit from automobility. No really they don’t. Again it is clear you don’t understand externalities.

        PHIL: “wasted space from parking is always racked up against suburban shopping malls but never against “park and ride”
        Now you’ve reached peak stupidity. Blaming PT for the wasted space by cars!

      • Strange EconomicsMEMBER

        Freeways cost more than Metros per trip. Or in Tolls alone, quite apart from car cost of 50c per kilometre…
        Or compare the billions cost of each freeway with the rail and no of commuters.
        Freeways predicted at a capacity of 20k people each way per hour, less than an equivalent metro rail line.

  9. So we should trust a guy who cannot even make a proper reference to “the best of all possible worlds”?

    The best to do with his writing is to ridicule it, like Voiltaire did in Candide

  10. Cars already do not dominate transport in all big cities, not even in all western cities but only in those failed cities with poor livability eg Rome vs. Vienna
    In Asia there is almost no nice big city where cars dominates

    • Can you give some examples of what you mean by ‘Asian city that is large and also nice’ and ‘Asian city dominated by cars’ (as opposed to either PT or other single user transport including motorcycle)?

      • Which is which?
        Neither seem large – certainly both are out of the top 20 Asian cities by population.
        I think Singapore has a pretty good PT system but the dominant mode of transport in Jakarta seems to be motorbike – 40% of trips compared to less than 10 % for cars (so that even bus trasport has a bigger share of journeys than cars)- the purpose of my parenthesis was specifically to eliminate cities like that.

    • Cars already do not dominate transport in all big cities, not even in all western cities but only in those failed cities with poor livability eg Rome vs. Vienna
      In Asia there is almost no nice big city where cars dominates

      Well, there’s a loophole in that statement big enough to sail an aircraft carrier through, but even with that taken into account it would seem that cars are the dominant transport mode in most cities.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modal_share

      If using Singapore as an example it’s important to remember the massive taxes it levies on private vehicles. For example, a Corolla that might cost $25k or so to put on the road in Australia will cost $100k+ in Singapore.

      • In Japan, cars are the dominant mode, even in Tokyo. Which suggests that income levels play a role. Of course that does not just mean the car, it also means the cost of space to park it at home. In cities where land costs so much that most people either rent a tenement or live in an illegal slum, there is a socially unjust rentier oligopoly at work. The motor scooter has become the proxy for the west’s early automobiles in breaking the power of the rentier in the third world. Illegal slums can be established at a greater distance from the city, with more space per household, and room to park the scooter that provided the means of escape. Solly Angel and his colleagues like Bertaud and Romer are true experts; I have picked up numerous details like these from their writings.

  11. “….increasing the productivity of American cities requires a sustained focus on meeting the travel demands of the great majority of commuters rather than on improving mobility at large or on transportation strategies focused on CBDs…”

    In other words, another fool who believes that Govt should be at the centre of planning our future because, you know … the free market is too stupid to work it out. I’m sure Solly has been well remunerated over the years by the tax-payer funded institutions he advises. Life’s grand when you live at the trough, ain’t it Sol?

  12. In the Australia 2025 report published in 1975, Sir Peter Abeles who wrote the transport section predicted that cars would remain the dominant form of urban transit in 2025. Looking to be correct so far

  13. Currently finishing up a cycle tour holiday in Spain. Sitting on high speed train to Madrid as typing this. 290kph.
    But not for me when I get back to Oz (#hellbourne). Cos first world Aussie cant have nice things.
    Are cars and congestion in Melbourne going to get better at population 6M? 7M?
    Just widen the Monash again hey MB…..