Posts about Technology

  • Google Maps: Bike There

    There’s a site with a petition for Google Maps to add a “bike there” option showing directions by bike, including bike lanes. Great idea, though the obstacle to Bike There is finding bike lane data. While we’re at it, how about just a “walk there”?   Keep reading…

  • EveryBlock and more for DC

    EveryBlock is a new site that lets you see everything going on in your block: pictures people upload, inspection violations in local restaurants, building permits, and more. Here’s my old block in NYC. It looks like it could be a very useful tool for citizens to keep up with what’s going on in their neighborhoods. Rob Halligan is pushing to bring it to DC—that would…  Keep reading…

  • Sci-fi coast to coast high speed rail network

    Imagine that long-distance, very high speed rail lines (airplane speeds or better) were practical and relatively cheap to build. What might the resulting transit-like intercity service look like? Working on the recent DC fantasy maps reminded me of this map which I created years ago. Here it is, dusted off for your pleasure. Click on the map for a larger version. More…  Keep reading…

  • Greater Baltimore & Washington Transit Future version 2

    This map shows what the transportation system of the Baltimore-Washington area would look like if most of the proposed improvements are built. In particular, it includes the Silver Line to Dulles; several new infill Metro stations; turning MARC and VRE into transit-like service with frequent trains that run through from Maryland to Virginia so all commuters can reach Union Station,…  Keep reading…

  • Greater Washington Transit Future: a multimodal fantasy map

    Update: Version 2 is now available. Dan at BeyondDC was one of several people to comment that Metrorail is not the most cost-effective way to provide transit. In fact, it’s pretty darn cost-ineffective. So while it’s fun to dream about Metro lines everywhere, what’s a more achievable transit vision? There are two areas officials want to improve transit,…  Keep reading…

  • Even more fantastic WMATA fantasy map

    Based on suggestions from Richard Layman and others, I’ve added to the fantasy map to create an even fantasy-er map (as before, click for big version): There’s fantasy, and then there’s even more fantasy. In the world of today, a lot of these lines are probably more cost-effectively served by light rail, streetcars, BRT, or something else. They’re…  Keep reading…

  • WMATA fantasy combo map

    Many proposals are floating around for Metro expansion. Some have been thoroughly researched by government and are just waiting for funding, like the Dulles extension. Others are just suggestions from activists and bloggers. Many are somewhere in between. To show the ideas in one place, I’ve created this fantasy map. Click on the map for a large version, and see below…  Keep reading…

  • The favored quarter, illustrated

    The Option of Urbanism talks about the “favored quarter”, the pattern in almost every city’s suburban development where most of the wealthy white people settled in certain parts of the region, leading to mall developers and employers wanting to locate there, leading to more highways there, making property values rise and more wealthy white people, malls, and jobs locating there.  Keep reading…

  • DC zoning laws online, sort of

    The zoning laws for DC are posted online. They’re typed documents clearly made on a computer. But… they’re printed out, then scanned in, and the scanned images converted to PDFs. Here’s an example. What’s wrong with this? PDFs made directly from the computer contain their text in computer-readable form. Search engines can read them and make…  Keep reading…

  • Calculating walkability

    The walkability of a neighborhood is an intangible quality that doesn’t appear on real estate listings like the number of bathrooms or the square footage. But living in a place where you can walk to grocery stores, restaurants, movie theaters, hair salons, and other amenities makes life in certain places enormously different (and, I believe, better) than those where driving…  Keep reading…

  • The Triboro RX

    In the heyday of the railroads, rail lines crisscrossed the country and ran right through major cities. Some lines are commuter railroads today, others were turned into transit lines or highways, but many were abandoned. A few still exist, relatively unknown to most people, because they were either abandoned but never completely turned over to other uses, or because they carry some…  Keep reading…

  • More than a thousand words

    None but the most corrupt of politicians would think that moving Yankee Stadium over to a public park, farther from the highway, replacing that park with some space on top of garages and other parkland crammed up against the river far away from the neighborhood, and having the city kick in $70 million for this, could possibly be a good idea.  Keep reading…

  • The power of positive planning

    At last month’s CopyNight, Beth Noveck suggested that the copyright balance movement needs to move beyond a negative agenda (don’t pass more copyright extensions, don’t regulate technology, don’t create new criminal penalties) and toward a positive agenda.  She elaborated on this idea yesterday in her blog.  Keep reading…

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