"System change is now inevitable. Either because we do something about it, or because we will be hit by climate change. '...

"We need to develop economic models that are fit for purpose. The current economic frameworks, the ones that dominate our governments, these frameworks... the current economic frameworks, the neoclassical, the market frameworks, can deal with small changes. It can tell you the difference, if a sock company puts up the price of socks, what the demand for socks will be. It cannot tell you about the sorts of system level changes we are talking about here. We would not use an understanding of laminar flow in fluid dynamics to understand turbulent flow. So why is it we are using marginal economics, small incremental change economics, to understand system level changes?"

Thursday, February 18, 2016

No Place To Go But Up

I have a longish article on Medium about the future of transportation. It's written from an Austin-centric point of view, and I do think Austin should be the first to try this.

But if you want to try it where you are, more power to you!

My point is that when the roads are full, you have to build alternative transportation off the roads, which means either below them or above them. It's not as if elevated rail were really a new idea.

(Purportedly a view under the Baltimore el, pre-1950)

It turns out that elevated bikeways aren't novel either! (more at the link)

And there's another co-benefit: an emerging car-free commons.
The solutions to our problems lie in alternative lightweight transportation on alternative route networks that minimally intersect with the existing road network and as much as possible are human-powered or externally powered (like electric trains). The best way to achieve this is by putting trains and bicycles above the car traffic. This offers an opportunity to develop delightful above-grade pedestrian and recreation facilities as well.
Blegging for Medium.com likes, please and thanks! I sweated over this piece, and it doesn't target my usual audience.

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