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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Energizing People to Reimagine Our Cities

Arlington County government agencies produce some pretty cool stuff. I'm not the creator of the below video, but I found it randomly, recently, and it was created during my tenure as a contractor at Mobility Lab. The time period in which this video was produced I consider a "golden period" for Arlington County, in which …

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American Cities’ Biggest Transportation Innovation is Decidedly Low-Tech

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 years, according to a new report …

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What Would Make Your Commute Better?

Jeff Bezos' $250 million purchase of The Washington Post in 2014 changed the direction of the newspaper in some fairly significant ways. Among them: The Posts's focus became less local and more global, it began expanding digital access dramatically (promoted by the Kindle, of course), and started spending some serious cash on events. One of these events is the America Answers series. Begun in …

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Humans Only in Times Square

Uber’s Plan for Self-Driving Cars Will Make its Taxi Disruption Look Quaint

Uber has fundamentally changed the taxi industry. But its biggest disruption may be yet to come. The ride-hailing company has invested in autonomous-vehicle research, and its CEO Travis Kalanick (pictured above) has indicated that consumers can expect a driverless Uber fleet by 2030. Uber expects its service to be so inexpensive and ubiquitous as to make …

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D.C. Entrepreneurs Still Focused on Transportation

Washington D.C.-based shared-ride company Split was one of two transportation startups who participated in the Tech.Co Startup Competition last month, showing that Washington remains a prolific incubator of transportation-related startups, and that entrepreneurs believe there are additional transportation problems that need solving. Split, which has been operational since May of this year, is an app-enabled …

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D.C. Housing May be Less Expensive than the Suburbs

The conventional wisdom is that living in the city is much more expensive than living outside of it. Taxes, entertainment, and groceries all add up to a slightly higher cost of living in the city. Housing, though, is the expense that tips the scales decidedly in favor of the suburbs. Or does it? With car …

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Gridlock: Not Just for Washington D.C. Politics

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. NerdWallet gave Washington poor scores because, …

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Major U.S. DOT Study Emphasizes Need for More Transit, Biking, Walking

Transit, bicycling, and pedestrian programs will be increasingly important in order to meet the country’s future transportation needs. That’s one conclusion that can be drawn from a new report by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) called Beyond Traffic. http://youtu.be/4tRyl7IzALo The report, currently still in draft form, is the Obama administration’s 30-year framework of our …

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Fully Driverless Cars Will Be Ready in 2060, Report Finds

The impact of autonomous – driverless – vehicles is still a ways in the future, according to projections made in a new report by Todd Litman of the Victoria Transport Policy Institute (VTPI). As for autonomous vehicles’ impacts on traffic congestion, automobile accidents, and car ownership, the VTPI report projects that driverless vehicles will have only a modest impact …

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