An Appreciation of Popularity

The correlation between popularity and quality is tenuous at best. How often have excellent products died in the marketplace, while competing products of lesser quality have succeeded (I'm thinking Betamax, Kodak, and TiVo, to name a few)? How often, too, have movie stars achieved enormous popular success despite possessing little in the way of acting ability (my apologies to Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone)? Popularity isn't …

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American Cities’ Biggest Transportation Innovation is Decidedly Low-Tech

[By Paul Goddin for Mobility Lab] American cities are adding bus and bike lanes, implementing bikeshare systems, and creating public plazas and miniature parks at a rapid pace. Urban streets, long the domain of automobiles, are increasingly being reclaimed by and for the people, a change that amounts to the biggest transportation innovation in recent …

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Transit’s Surprising Advantage is Sitting Right in Your Pocket

[By Paul Goddin for Mobility Lab. Edited for this site.] With public-transit use riding a 58-year high of 10.8 billion trips last year, it only makes sense to ask: why? Technology may be partially responsible for public transit's record ridership, but probably not in the way you think. As smartphones and other electronic devices have skyrocketed in popularity, more …

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New Research Reveals the Cost of Sprawl to Municipal Coffers

[By Paul Goddin for Mobility Lab] Ever since the Roman Empire, local governments have had great control over land use. Today, this control is exerted through zoning regulations, tax policies, and infrastructure-investment decisions. Municipalities can choose to develop in an unconnected, low-density, suburban-style manner, or they can consider more compact, connected urban land uses. These …

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Businesses are Moving Back Downtown

[By Paul Goddin for Mobility Lab] The deciding factor in Panasonic’s move of its North American headquarters from Secaucus, New Jersey to Newark was public transportation, according to Jim Reilly, vice president of corporate communications. The company relocated from a large corporate campus with lots of green space to an amenity-rich downtown location. Reilly said …

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The Good and the Bad of the Capital Bikeshare Member Survey

Capital Bikeshare’s 2014 Member Survey indicates that even as Washington D.C.’s bikeshare service has grown by leaps and bounds, its users have become older, whiter, and wealthier. Most company executives would be happy enough with these demographics. Wealthy customers? Yes please. Washington’s business community, in fact, was a tough sell on this new transit option. …

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Gridlock: Not Just for Washington D.C. Politics

[By Paul Goddin for Mobility Lab] File this one under “lists you don’t want to appear on.” Consumer finance website NerdWallet has released a list of the top 10 Worst Cities for Car Drivers. Washington D.C., number two on the list, proves once again that the term “gridlock” doesn’t just apply to the city’s politics. …

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