Once Around the Web

First up! If you are the sort to read a transportation blog, you should know that Jarrett Walker and Darrin Nordahl will be speaking at Town Hall on April 18th, 7:30 – 9:00 pm. They’ll be discussing public transit from two different ends of the bus route: technical simplicity and fun.  Tickets available at Brown Paper Tickets or at the door.

Or, if you can swing it, you can join them for a brown bag lunch debate  also April 18th, 12:00 – 1:30 pm at Banyan Branch Headquarters on 1st Ave.  Space is limited so please RSVP if you want to attend.

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The old saying is: You aren’t stuck in traffic. You are traffic.  But did you ever think –I love traffic; traffic is great?

Sometimes, it’s just a matter of perspective. Take this quote from David Mirvish:

“I love the traffic here (Toronto). If you don’t want traffic, you drive in the country.

If there is traffic, it means there are people around and, if there are a lot of people, it means you are in a city and, if you are in a city, it means there are lots of ideas flying – people to go to the theatre, people to do things, people eating in restaurants and, therefore, there are nice theatres and nice restaurants and great museums. You don’t get that if you don’t have people.”

Sure, he’s Canadian, and they tend to be more upbeat and positive than we are, but it is true – some of our most congested cities, are also our most vibrant, exciting, and creative cities.

According to NAVTEQ, in 2010 these were the top five US Cities with the Worst Rush Hours

1. New York
2. Washington D.C.
3. San Francisco
4. Seattle
5. Los Angeles

Cleveland, Ohio is often referred to as America’s least congested city but how often do you hear people say “Someday, I’m gonna move to Cleveland and make it big!”?

This isn’t to say we shouldn’t be striving to reduce traffic congestion. Of course we should. After all, the Texas Transportation Institute estimated that, in 2000, the 75 largest metropolitan areas in the US experienced 3.6 billion vehicle-hours of delay, resulting in 5.7 billion U.S. gallons in wasted fuel and $67.5 billion in lost productivity.  Ouch! But next time you’re stuck on I-5 cursing at traffic, remember those aren’t just cars around you. They are people; friends, neighbors, and unique weirdos that make Seattle a great place to live.

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We all pay for your car – one way or another.

This great video produced by The Mexican office of the Institute for Transportation & Development Policy (ITDP) effectively explains many of the most important concepts in transportation policy: driving subsidies, induced demand and externalities.

 

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And now in “What is This World Coming To?!” News…

Geekologie brings us the story of Hangover Heaven – a Las Vegas bus service offering hydrating, vitamin-enriched IVs for folks who can’t bear to tear themselves away from the free drinks, slots, and Pai Gow.  According to Hangover Heaven, all of the medication and equipment is FDA-approved. So go ahead – crunk it up! They say they can cure your hangover in less than 45 minutes at a cost of $130.00.

If Las Vegas has a hangover bus, Seattle ought to have a coffee bus, don’t you think?

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Lastly, we all know distracted driving is dangerous but what about distracted walking?

Take it from this guy, texting while walking can be unbearably scary!

(Monday – Friday SDOT sends out a compilation of local and national transportation news links. If you’d like to subscribe (or unsubscribe) to the list, just send an email to allie.gerlach@seattle.gov and I’ll take care of it for you. )