Letting “them” win.

The “media” (rather than actual news) is all over the US State Departments general, extended travel warning. The warning is pretty useless, anyone paying attention should have assumed most of this already. Despite the worldwide spying, intelligence, phone hacking, the NSA has carried out, this is the best they can come up with? At the same time governments are using this as a reason to demand more intrusive technology, and less privacy for us. Remember, the French bombers did not use encryption… yet the cries to break or insert back doors into encryption grow daily. I’m travelling anyway…  If two planes … Continue reading Letting “them” win.

Will self driving cars save Austin from itself?

If you had 100 destinations you’d have removed some of the major bottlenecks, but we don’t. We have the Central Business District. It’s a major constraint and getting people in cars in and out of it no matter how automated the cars are will have the same fundamental problems and constraints. Anyone who says otherwise really doesn’t understand the problem. Continue reading Will self driving cars save Austin from itself?

DVT and the American Way

As we approach the holiday season, I am reminded to check the American Way magazine to see if they’ve updated their advice about Deep Vein Thrombosis, aka DVT. My legs are sore from Sundays race, so better safe than sorry. Looks like I’m still in with a chance to win the 100,000 award miles for my letter to the editor last month, after all they have not changed the advice. Here is what I wrote: I’m in 22a of AA 1149, I’ve been here for about 3.5 hours since boarding. The guy in the exit row seat in front, despite … Continue reading DVT and the American Way

Austin Traffic: Poor planning

So prop-1 failed, no bad rail, no gloating from me. We still have a major commuting problem. Repeat after me though, we don’t have a traffic problem. One of the problems we have, that comes from growth is so many places are having infrastructure work. Google are all over south Austin laying underground conduit for fiber optic cables, mostly though they are not the problem, apart from a half day here or there where the close off a lane. The RapidBus dedicated lanes have caused some problems downtown, but slowly people have got used to not using the bus lanes, … Continue reading Austin Traffic: Poor planning

Austin doesn’t have a traffic problem

Tomorrow is voting day for Texas and Austin, there is some excitement over the new 10 district system in Austin among the political classes, but not much among the voters. One of the big issues, at least for me and the general media has been the traffic, and more specifically congestion. Up for vote is Prop-1. a mixed rail and roads bond with a cost of $1.4 billion. It has become a total political football, although either way it is a win/win for the urbanists who either get rail and can pursue density; or don’t get rail and can use that … Continue reading Austin doesn’t have a traffic problem

There are no $1.4 Billion do-overs

There is a better choice and it’s worth the wait, Austin’s strongest and densest corridor: Guadalupe-North Lamar.. Communities want light rail on that route and have written it into the neighborhood plans. The FTA has said it would consider funding a MetroRapid bus-to-light rail conversion in that corridor. Continue reading There are no $1.4 Billion do-overs

Prop-1 The Wrong Rail for Austin

From where I see it, this was never about rail, it was always about developing an under-developed corridor of central Austin. A previously undesirable corridor because of it’s proximity to I35 and the noise and congestion associate, along with specific properties, which, without rail wouldn’t be nearly as viable or valuable. Continue reading Prop-1 The Wrong Rail for Austin

Decaying Texas

It’s been an interesting month. I live in Austin Texas, boom town USA. Everything is happening in construction, although nothing much in transport. In many ways Austin reminds me of rapidly developing cities in China, India and other developing countries. I’ve travelled some inside Texas, but most on I10 and out East. I’ve tended to dismiss what I’ve seen in small towns, mostly because I figured they were unrepresentative. Earlier this month I did my first real US roadtrip. I had my Mum with me for a month and figured a week or so out of the heat of Texas … Continue reading Decaying Texas

Austin, divided by roads

Austin Business Journal Editor Colin Pope published an op-ed on the future of I35 through downtown Austin. In the op-ed he was basically saying that any attempt to sink and cover I35 was a waste of money, and they should just add lanes. I added a biting comment pretty quickly on the dependency on cars, the division of the downtown area. Later in the morning, ABJ added a poll to the article, and in the process, my comment disappeared. I re-wrote a comment and posted it last night. Just in case it vanishes again… You want growth in downtown, but … Continue reading Austin, divided by roads