Transportation

Accounting for Modalities

Accounting for Modalities

Given that many people in the United States are thinking about accounting today, I thought I'd share some of the raw numbers from my recent trip to China and the Philippines, but rather than detail how much money I spent (speaking of which, you are welcome to complicate my 2015 taxes by donating here), I thought I'd share the following summary of the many journeys within a journey I took while traveling through China, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Macau, the Philippines, Canada and the United States:

Feet shredded while walking miles through eleven cities, many small villages, one former military stronghold and atop, along and around ruined portions of a gigantic wall: 2

Subway systems used more frequently than can be tallied: 6

Personal cars ridden with a buddhist who would later host an elaborate tea ceremony, an atheist tour guide raised in a cave, and two precocious children: 1

Bridges crossed at which the largest conflict in the history of the world began: 1

Last minute rickshaw rides organized by a guide squeezing in one more sightseeing visit before a thirty-hour train ride: 1

A thirty-hour train ride between China's current capital and the city that served as its capital during World War II: 1 

No Exit - How Low Car Life Will Save Portland When The Big One Strikes

No Exit - How Low Car Life Will Save Portland When The Big One Strikes

Bridges will tumble, rail lines will shut off and fuel will run low. But when the Big One strikes, 20-minute neighborhoods, bikes and even food carts may save Portland.

In Transit

More formally known as the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Agency, Metro offers more than buses and trains. It exudes personality, a personality interwoven with this vast community. Many claim Los Angeles has no public transit, but I know otherwise, and this afternoon's ride only cements my opinion. A bus driver stopping randomly alongside the road might not be the model of efficiency, but he embodies the charm of transit in Los Angeles. I've heard of bus drivers who croon Rat Pack hits as they carry passengers to and from their homes; I've watched flirtation blossom to affection on the platforms of the Green Line. I've watched drunken partiers stumble down bus aisles then politely strike conversation with late night commuters. I've even seen gangbangers politely offer their seats to elderly and disabled passengers.

R We There Yet? Re-evaluating Los Angeles's Transit Future

R We There Yet? Re-evaluating Los Angeles's Transit Future

It's becoming clear that the age of the automobile is coming to an end, or, at the very least, changing. Los Angeles, like other cities, loses billions of dollars each year just because of people stuck on the region's tangled roadways. Scholars, politicians, activists and numerous overlapping government agencies each offer often-competing solutions for how to get the region moving. All the while, the solution might begin not with expensive upheavals and construction of vast new transit networks, but instead with better cooperation, education and mobilization of the surprisingly robust transit network that already exists in the metropolis.

Adaptive Reuse: Parking Meters to Bike Racks

I'm in the midst of preparing some posts about the Expanding Vision of Sustainable Mobility summit hosted this week by the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. In doing so, I'm semi-procrastinating by skimming long-ago bookmarked blog entries and websites I set aside for reference in my master's project exploring the possibility of a transit revolution in the Los Angeles area. This might be a bit late, but I was impressed by this January post  from StreetsBlog LA about the Los Angeles Department of Transportation's (LADOT) plans to convert old parking meters to bike racks.