Spring 2010 – Post your “TRANSPORTATION & LAND USE”  topical homework here:

  • Find and read an article (online or in print) and post a link or citation, with a sentence or two summarizing the most useful points, for at least one item per week on your topic.
  • You may post additional links (with or without summaries) for some extra credit.
  • Note any important points from your book reading that connect with or inform your research topic.
  • Folks on other topic teams are welcome to make comments, suggest links, or anything else that would be helpful to this team (this will also earn you some extra credit).


    69 Responses to “Transportation & Land Use”

    1. http://www.democracynow.org/2010/2/15/olympic_resistance_indigenous_groups_anti_poverty

      Amy Goodman interviews a woman who helped block the torch during the Canadian Olympics:
      “We are not Canadian. We are not a defeated people. This land was never surrendered. Our nations and our people still exist and will continue to exist.”

      It’s too bad that an unwillingness to listen reduces resistance to oversimplified call and response protesting, but what else can they do?

      1. duncan888 Says:

        Well I watched this video on Democracy Now. I think the protesters & Canadian Police both behaved like crazy people.

        The one protester that said “We know the Olympics suck!” is someone I find challenging to respect. Why take out their hostility on a sporting event? Honestly, I think the protesters anger is completely mis-directed. Indigenous rights are important, as are the rights of all people & groups, however violence, & criminal mischief such as throwing chairs through windows I think have absolutely no place in the political dialog, even if it was a company that did bad things during Colonial times I still see that as no excuse.

        We can all take a moral higher ground & be better people by practicing what we preach & behaving how we’d expect others to behave towards us & that’s without the use of violence.

        As soon as I see people willfully destroying stuff my respect for them goes out the window. It looks sad.

        I don’t think Ghandi would of done this.


    2. http://www.appalachiawatch.org/
      there is a link to a democracynow video there about mountaintop removal and the people who committed themselves to photo-journalism documentation of its destruction. An amazing example of committment and care, and an interesting interview, too!

    3. http://www.democracynow.org/2010/4/2/community_activists_criticize_detroit_urban_renewal

      This is about how Detroit’s mayor wants to demolish 10,000 residential buildings by the end of his term, some of which may be totally liveable.

      The guest speaker says:
      “…What we’re saying is he should not use eminent domain to demand that people leave their homes that they’ve preserved through all of this shrinking, and we’re saying he should not turn this land over for industrial farm use or any other unknown purpose that he has yet to articulate.”

      1. duncan888 Says:

        I heard about that on I believe Democracy Now. It’s unfortunate but I think it’s a sad reality of life that cities such as Detroit which are a complete disaster in the manner in which they’ve been laid out have housing stock & buildings in general that are of very little use.

        We need to remember that Detroit was a product of the Industrial Revolution, in particular automobiles. That part of history is not going to make a come-back. It’s over with. Done.

        Detroit is a textbook example of a city that is in more or less a permanent state of contraction. I think there’s going to be more cities that do this. They’ve spread themselves out far too thinly! This is what I meant by abandoning suburban sprawl. We need to get away from this junky, mal-adapted mode of living. Many of those houses have been abandoned, set on fire, or are in a general state of disrepair & aren’t doing anything of much use. Underneath those buildings is probably good agricultural land that could be put to better use feeding the people who live there. Therefore, I take issue with & disagree with the guest speaker who obviously apposes the views of the mayor & I think is probably just politicizing the event when what is happening is far more urgent & necessary.


    4. duncan888 Says:

      Here’s the other video as well.

    5. duncan888 Says:

      Here’s a video of that folding bike I have a crush on. Is this cool or what?

    6. duncan888 Says:

      Dear Transportation/Land Use people-

      I have a good friend & local environmentalist just up the road in San Francisco & his name is Rob Forbes.


      He’s got a VERY interesting & informative web blog called STUDIO FORBES. He discusses design in all its myriad forms, travel, quality of living, food, & most importantly as it pertains to this section on “transportation & land use”-bicycles, and urban design.

      He’s VERY pro-sustainability & has a great deal to say. He’s also a highly original thinker in my opinion.

      He’s also created a new company called PUBLICBIKES which offers beautifully crafted city bikes that fill what I think is a much needed niche’ between hard-core road/mountain bikes & silly, dysfunctional beach cruisers with balloon tires. The bikes remind me of what we might see in Europe where bicycling is a national religion such as Amsterdam or Copenhagen.


      His websites is very clever & really warrants a close look.

      If anyone is thinking of applying for the $500 dollar interest free loan, I think it would be well worth their time to have a look at what they offer in education & products. I’m actually thinking of doing it as their Dahon folding bike would be super useful to me.



    7. duncan888 Says:

      Here’s the Youtube video of the B-2 crash.
      Food for thought-

    8. Jesse Jensen Says:

      Depressed Pilots Can Fly on Medication, FAA Decides


      This begs the broader question: when, and under which circumstances, will Artificial Intelligence drive all our cars and trains and fly all of our planes?

      I am in favor of total automation of transportation. No matter what concerns you might have, a computer is infinitely more manageable than a human being. It doesn’t make a difference what it is — computers can be reprogrammed.

      1. duncan888 Says:

        Hi Jesse,
        I beg to differ-

        Here’s why-

        The U.S.’s B-2 Bomber fleet had their first crash on Guam on February 23rd, 2008

        The crash occurred during takeoff, & both pilots ejected to safety fortunately. The bad news is the aircraft was a complete loss. The loss on that ONE SINGLE aircraft alone was $1.4 billion dollars.
        What a waste of money!

        It turns out the cause of the crash was intense rains had entered air date sensors on the outside of the aircraft which are then fed to angle of attack & yaw data in their computerized flight control systems. The two pilots had zero control of the aircraft during take-off. The moisture that had entered the aircraft had given bad information to three of the planes twenty four flight sensors causing the computer to over-compensate.

        In essence, moisture & a computer had killed a $1.4 billion dollar aircraft

        I think this is a text-book example, or case study illustrating why we can’t completely depend on technology or automation to take care of our daily needs. I call this “the diminishing returns of technology”.

        Humans have evolved to do some things pretty well. I’d trust 200,000 years of natural selection & evolution over rather ‘glitchy’ software in an expensive airplane any day.

        I think if the FAA allows pilots to fly on meds, without a doubt it needs to be very stringently regulated. If they can do this & show that the risk can be regulated & mitigated, I think I’m okay with it.

        What do you think?


    9. duncan888 Says:

      Here’s a direct link to the Kunstlercast player-have fun with it!

    10. duncan888 Says:

      Here’s a link to James Howard Kunstler’s weekly podcast dealing mainly with American culture, automobiles & the built world that surrounds us.


      His podcast is very educational, entertaining & funny. They often do Google street views & it’s really informative to follow along “walking the streets with them” & listening to the commentary.

    11. duncan888 Says:

      Has anyone noticed that some of the roads that have recently been re-surfaced in Santa Cruz have been narrowed somewhat?

      I drive Morrisey Ave. once or twice a week & I recall before there were two lanes of roads moving in either direction. Now they have one lane for each direction & wider bicycle lanes. How cool is that?

      I took a lot of Arch. courses here at Cabrillo & became good friends with the instructor, he told us because of the fact or perception of vehicles speeding in quantity up & down Morrisey Ave. that it’s had a negative, deleterious impact on housing values all along that street. Parents with kids view the neighborhood as less safe, etc.

      Personally what I think they ought to do in addition to removing a lane, is specifically pick plants that grow quickly & stick them into the middle divider, which will create the added perception that we’re driving down a narrower road than we actually are. Plus there’s the calming beauty of vegetation.

      What do you folks think?

    12. duncan888 Says:

      Here’s another article on David Byrne & a lecture he’s giving for the Congress of New Urbanism.


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