Thursday, March 16, 2017

Florida actually has High Speed Rail

Bright Line Website

An hour from West Palm Beach to Miami. Which is about 65 miles. On a train that tops out at 79 mph.

That sounds a lot more like a commuter rail to me. I mean, if it makes it to Orlando, that will be something completely different. But still. But wait--FrontRunner (UTA) takes about 2 hours to make it from Ogden to Provo, which is 81 miles. So it does go considerably faster...60% faster or so.

Rome 2 Rio suggests that doing so is faster than the alternatives. The existing train costs $9-11, but takes 2 hours 22 minutes. Bus is $35, for 1h30. Grayhound is 2h40, at $17 (why would you ever not take the train at that price? Looks like all the drive modes run 1h20. Given that the Brightline is faster, they can likely charge more than the alternative.

So Brightline is actually kind of exciting, then.

Blog Roll Additions

Because blogger is being a pain:


Not Blogs


Not Blogs

Snow Day

From Eschaton:

Snow Job

Snow reveals much in the urban hellhole, especially when it lingers for a few days. One thing it reveals is just how many people don't actually need their cars. That people "need" their cars drives demands for cheap parking permits, which fills up available parking spots with cars that people don't actually need, which makes car owners apoplectic and opposed to any development which doesn't have off street parking in a city where most lots can barely fit a house, which drives down local population density, hinders revitalization of walkable neighborhood commercial corridors, leads to more people "needing" or wanting cars, worsening the parking problem, etc...

Rich people who like cheap long term storage for their weekend cars get very concerned about the needs of poor people whenever people suggest increasing parking permit fees (The first one is $35 per year. They're basically free). Snow reveals just how many of those cars are not used for daily commutes.

Cities spent decades hollowing themselves out by trying to be "more like the suburbs." Sadly, too many "new" city arrivals who have decided they like city living can't look around the urban landscape, see how big cars are, and do the simple math to figure out just how much space they take up.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Gentle Density, via Planetizen

From Planetizen:

Navigating the density debate might be easier if more cities embraced "gentle density," which Brent Toderian defines as "attached, ground-oriented housing that's more dense than a detached house, but with a similar scale and character. Think duplexes, semi-detached homes, rowhouses, or even stacked townhouses."

While even this mild form of densification draws opposition, it's less drastic than big blocky mid-rises. "Many people don't mind sharing a common wall and are eager to cut their costs and carbon footprint, but still appreciate a direct relationship with the ground. That's why fellow urbanist Daniel Parolek in San Francisco calls this kind of density the 'missing middle.'"

Rowhouses, townhouses and the like used to be an urban staple. But now, planners in many cities will have to relearn them. "In most cities though, deliberate zoning decisions have made this kind of housing illegal."

Full Story:
Published on Tuesday, March 7, 2017 in Metro Toronto

Note the parking: One garage slot, one driveway slot. But no on-street parking. Perhaps because the frontage is too narrow to permit a parking slot and a driveway?