CNU Salons

Even In Phoenix, You Can't Build Your Way Out of Congestion

A recent op-ed in Canada's Globe and Mail argued that yes, you can build your way out of congestion by building more roads, because after all, Phoenix built lots of roads and they don't have that much congestion.  The author invoked the Texas Transportation Institute's report on Phoenix  to show that government spending on highways reduces congestion.  However, he should have read the TTI report more carefully: between 1982 and 2011,

Is Tall All There Is?

Last week, Alissa Walker wrote a piece in Gizmodo with the headline "Tall is Good: How a Lack of Building Up is Keeping Our Cities Down." Walker argues that buildings taller than 4 stories need to be built to keep cities from pricing out its lower-income citizens, and that cities should be removing height limits and encouraging super tall - and thin - buildings.

The Importance of The Margin of Error

Even the best poll or survey is slightly inaccurate, because a poll of a sample of people may not accurately reflect the entire population.  To account for this problem, pollsters have developed the concept of a "margin of error"- a number (usually 2 to 5 percentage points) which shows the range of likely results among the actual population, as opposed to the people who answered the survey.  (For a more technical explanation, go here).

HIGHWAYS TO BOULEVARDS BLOG: I-84 Viaduct Removal Plan In Hartford, CT

This post is a part of CNU’s Highways to Boulevards Blog series, which features interview summaries and insights from some of the best minds at the frontline of our Highways to Boulevards Initiative.

Cities Don't Always Have Higher Taxes Than Suburbs

The Brookings Institution just came out with a national map listing property taxes by county.

Nelson Mandela: a brief encounter

In the summer of 1993 Nelson Mandela visited NYC Mayor David Dinkins at Gracie Mansion. Several big city mayors were in town for a meeting including me as Mayor of Milwaukee.

Mandela was the most impressive public figure I've encountered. He had the clear eye of one who had been unjustly imprisoned for pursuing a just cause. He greeted the 20 mayors and 30 or so other dignitaries. He seemed unhurried and when he'd finished working the line he quietly slipped into the kitchen and greeted the food service staff.

Two Implausible Scenarios

The Rand Corporation recently issued a report sketching out two possible scenarios for America's transportation future.  In one scenario, entitled "No Free Lunch", energy prices keep rising, leading to less driving and more compact development.  Under this scenario, government regulates greenhouse gases heavily and taxes driving heavily to support transportation.  In the second scenario, entitled "Fueled and Freewheeling", energy prices are stable, and neither regulation nor taxes increase.

Chicago’s fast-growing bike network showcased at transportation summit

Chicago is quickly becoming one of the nation’s top bicycling cities. Bike commuting in the city has more than tripled since 2000, making it second only to New York in sheer numbers.

CITY SPOTLIGHT: Beyond Portland, U.S. Biking Infrastructure Needs to Aim Higher

This post is part of our CITY SPOTLIGHT blog series. City Spotlight shines a light on the latest news, developments and initiatives occurring in cities and towns where CNU members live and work.

Chanukah Songs for Urbanists

One wonderful thing about Chanukah is how easily its songs lend themselves to adaptation.  For example, last week I adapted the Chanukah song "Mi Y'Malel" (Who Can Retell) here.   Then I created a New York version here.   Create some lyrics for your own city!