MLewyn's blog

Who Should Really Favor "Burning Down The Suburbs"?

National Review's website contains an article accusing President Obama of "Burning Down the Suburbs."  The article's basic claim is in the first paragraph: "Obama is a longtime supporter of “regionalism,” the idea that the suburbs should be folded into the cities, merging schools, housing, transportation, and above all taxation."'

Ryan: Not Great News From A Transportation Perspective, But....

The Transport Politic blog has a post on Paul Ryan's anti-transit voting record, and concludes that "we should be clear about what direction the United States may head after November’s election." I disagree, for two reasons.

The results of de-gentrification

When a city recovers from the urban decline of the late 20th century, there is often a lot of media blather about the evils of gentrification.  According to gentriphobes, working-class (mostly black) people lived together in peace and harmony before the onslaught of (mostly white) hipsters and yuppies drove up rents.

Having it both ways, another example

When listening to transit critics, I sometimes see the following arguments:

1. density doesn't increase transit ridership 

2.  My city/suburb just isn't dense enough for better transit.

I don't see how both arguments can be true. 

Maybe Character Shouldn't Count

A common justification for downzoning is "community character' - the idea that a given place has a (usually suburban) character, and that this "character" justifies legal rules freezing the status quo in place.

How to run a bus system

I was taking a long-distance bus to my parents' house in Atlanta and we had a layover in Charlotte, NC.  I noticed a couple of things that I thought were fairly impressive:

First, all of the region's bus schedules were in the Greyhound station.  Since bus riders are (I suspect) pretty likely to be using public transit once they arrive in town, I thought this was a pretty good idea.  (Though a regionwide bus map in the station would be still better).

Guess we don't have to worry about gentrification (or do we?)

The Pew Research Center just came out with a much-touted new study showing that American neighborhoods are becoming more economically segregated (or at least purporting to show this) 

three-cornered politics

Yesterday, the voters of ten Atlanta counties voted "no" in a referendum on a regional sales tax to expand both roads and public transit.  The new tax was favored by the region's business establishment, and opposed by groups as varied as the Sierra Club and local Tea Party groups.

Making CNU 21 more accessible

I recently ran across one of the CNU 20 panels on Youtube.  As useful as it was, I'm not sure how many hours I want to spend in front of a computer screen trying to keep my attention on a video presentation.  I started to wonder: is there a way for people to access CNU panels without spending hours on Youtube?

How To Create A "Vertical Suburb"

At CNU, Richard Florida quipped that high-rises were "vertical suburbs".  At the time, I couldn't quite figure out what he was trying to say.