Mode choice versus life cycle change

During TRB I attended a presentation on the effect of life cycle changes on travel pattern characteristics. The presenter defined the usual life cycle changes (getting married, changing home location, having a child, etc) and set up a structural equations model to related these changes with the size of a person’s social network, the length (distance) and number of trips per day, the length (duration) and number of activities per day, and so on.

The work was interesting and got me thinking whether one could treat “being green” as a life cycle choice rather than as a mode choice. In the usual mode choice context, Continue reading

Reduced parking requirements article

There is an article in today’s LA Times that talks about a move to reduce the parking requirements of various kinds of retail. This is very interesting and could begin to push people to reduce driving. In parallel, there are a few laws on the books in California that require denser development in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Now denser development by itself will not reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and may in fact make things worse if everybody keeps driving to exactly what they do now (imagine…more destinations crammed into a smaller space means more cars on the same streets means more traffic means more emissions). But, if denser development is paired with reduced parking requirements, there is even more incentive to leave the car home for a trip or two (as there will be nowhere to park it when you get there).
Continue reading

Pipe dream of two-wheeled loaded touring

I’ve been thinking about the cost of a High Speed Rail line in California, and I really think we should take some money from that project and build a long distance cycle path from Mexico to Oregon.  Something like this

A quick search of Google turned up a cost estimate for an undivided 2 Lane Rural Road with 5′ Paved Shoulders = $2,400,000. The border to border route returned by Google is 1,000 miles, so that would be we would need $2.4 billion or so to build it. Maybe less because a bikeway is more like just the paved shoulder part of a two lane highway, but maybe not because this is some pretty isolated real estate and the constructions costs could be high.

According to the first page of Google results on the cost of the California High Speed Rail project, the cost is likely to be around $68 billion. So shave off two of those billions, throw it at a dedicated right of way on the coastal bike route, and watch the tourists roll in from all over the world.

If the California Coast Long Distance Bikeway (is that an acronymic title?) copies the development of the HSR line, and starts in the middle…it wouldn’t be a problem! The coastline from Santa Barbara to Monterrey varies from beautiful to breathtaking. Starting in the middle is a wonderful idea.

Maybe I can write a grant to study this idea further.

Car sharing or bike rental?

I don’t understand how car sharing can be profitable.  You run into the same problem that public transit has—expensive vehicles with a long life offered to a people who could buy or lease their own car.  While the cars are shiny and new now, in 5 years they will not be.  Perhaps the zip-car’s of the world buy new cars regularly, and sell their old cars used. Continue reading

Bikes belong

I just read part two of an article in the OC Register (right wing wacko rag) that seemed to backpedal (no pun intended) a bit from part one in which the author (I did not read part one) appeared to complain about a share the road campaign along Pacific Coast Highway.

I wanted to submit a response, but the filter refused, first complaining about punctuation, and then complaining about the length. So nevermind, I’ll post my response here.

The original article is here. My response is as follows, without proper commas and so on because I can’t be bothered putting them back in after stripping them so assiduously. Continue reading