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Energizing People to Reimagine Our Cities

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Business Leaders Network to Make Transportation Easier in Arlington

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[By Paul Goddin for Mobility Lab]

“One of the biggest benefits of being part of this program is learning what other companies are doing,” says Christine Ng of Environ, a science and technology consultancy that is one of hundreds of businesses served by Arlington Transportation Partners.

Her compliment of ATP is captured in one of a series of videos shot at the ATP 2014 Champions Breakfast Ceremony in January and released this week.

ATP’s Champions program formally recognizes Arlington businesses that pay extra attention to the way their employees commute to work. By awarding several levels of achievement, Champions is a fun way to engage the county’s employers, and encourage them to promote walking, biking, carpooling, and riding transit among employees.

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

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[By Paul Goddin for Mobility Lab]

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.

The report, currently still in draft form, is the Obama administration’s 30-year framework of our transportation challenges in the U.S. The picture it paints isn’t pretty. Crumbling infrastructure, coupled with big population increases in the south and west, will result in a transportation system in the coming decades unable to support the demands placed upon it.

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Ride Public Transportation, Find Love?

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[By Paul Goddin for Mobility Lab]

There seems to be quite a lot of flirting, or at least furtive glancing, taking place on public transportation.

A new series of Metro ads celebrating the opening of the Silver Line suggests the new rail line to Reston might not only connect Washington D.C. residents with jobs and housing, but with dating opportunities as well. There is data suggesting some truth to this idea.

According to research by Dorothy Gambrell, public transportation is a good place to find a date. Using data culled from Craigslist ”missed connection” ads (sample post: “I saw you on the C Train, blue shirt and gold tie, but was too shy to ask for your number”), Gambrell mapped the most frequently-cited locations mentioned in the ads, per state. Her observations were published in Psychology Today last year.

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Ballston and the Silver Line: A Big Opportunity

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[Video produced by Paul Mackie and Paul Goddin. Article by Paul Mackie originally appearing in PlanItMetro]

In the above video, produced by me and Mobility Lab editor Paul Mackie, Ballston Business Improvement District CEO Tina Leone says, “We see the Silver Line as making Ballston the center of the universe. It makes everything even better here. We already have a very active Metro stop, with 26,000 trips per day. We see that growing to 38,000 trips per day along with the Silver Line by 2020. So that’s coming very, very fast.”

Traveling out from downtown D.C., Ballston is on the Orange Line one stop before the Silver Line branches off to its five new stations. Read the rest of this entry »

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One of the perks of being a transportation blogger is you get invited to some cool events. WMATA gave me a VIP pass to the opening of the Silver Line and it was a lot of fun. (You won’t see this video on Mobility Lab, just here.)

Smart Cities Put People First, and People Want Technology

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[By Paul Goddin for Mobility Lab, published on December 13, 2013.]

The Brookings Institution held a forum this week for urban planners, techies, and politicians on a topic that’s gained traction in recent years: “smart cities.”

Cohosted by Barcelona’s ESADE Business School, Getting Smarter About Smart Cities included panelists from Barcelona, Amsterdam, Edmonton, and Arlington.

A smart city is a term coined by IBM to describe a city that uses technology in various ways to better plan and manage the design, functions, and services of a city. The concept is generally thought of in terms of sustainability and economic efficiencies, but smart cities can use technology and data to improve healthcare, social welfare, and education. It’s a fairly utopian (or e-topian) idea, to be sure.

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