Posts Tagged ‘transportation’

Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Thu Jul 14th 2011 at 6:27pm UTC

The Geography of How We Get to Work

Thursday, July 14th, 2011

The combination ofthe Great Recession, rising gas prices, and growing environmental concerns are causing may people to rethink how they commute. After housing, transportation is the biggest item American families spend money on, accounting for an average of 20 percent of a typical family’s budget. The sheer fact of car ownership can make the difference between who spends and who saves, and even which homes go into foreclosure, as I noted here.  Not to mention that being stuck in traffic ranks high on almost every list of the things that make us the most unhappy.

And yet for all that, America remains overwhelmingly a nation of drivers. Across the board, nearly nine in 10 (86 percent) of Americans commute to work by car and more than three-quarters (76.1 percent) drive to work alone, according to the most recent estimates from the American Community Survey.  Only five percent use public transit to get to work.

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David Eaves
by David Eaves
Thu Jun 11th 2009 at 8:22am UTC

Navigating a City with Open Data

Thursday, June 11th, 2009

Mysociety.org has created this amazing application to help citizens in London determine where they can live based on commute times, affordability and “scenicness.” The program is in beta but this short video below demonstrates its awesome potential. (To take the Who’s Your City? place finder, click here.)

This is the potential open data can unleash. Because MySociety can access transit and train schedules as well as real estate prices, they are able to mash up this data and create this map. Still more interesting is how they crowd-sourced the collection of a new data set. Those who watched the video may have noticed how the “scenicness” of an area came from people voting on how nice photos of different neighborhoods looked.

Mysociety also does maps that just show transit times and they are looking for funding to build them out in different cities.

Of course, the job is made a whole lot easier – and can be kept up to date – if the data is being shared in a format that constantly allows for updates. Just another example of how Open Cities can again better serve their citizens.

(via BoingBoing)

Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Fri Feb 20th 2009 at 9:14am UTC

Housing’s Burden on All of Us

Friday, February 20th, 2009

Ryan Avent points to this finding from a 2006 report from the Center for Housing Policy, which documents the share of income people devote to housing and transportation. It’s higher than you might think.

With annual combined housing and transportation costs at 39 percent of the median income of $87,398, Arlington County becomes the most effective when you use this formula. Next in line are Alexandria, with a median income of $80,510, and Fairfax County, with median income of $100,419. Both have combined housing and transportation costs at 41 percent.

These are not disadvantaged places we’re talking about, but some of the most affluent counties on the planet. Avent notes: “For residents of exurban Nova counties, like Prince William and Spotsylvania, total housing and transportation cost can be 50 percent or more of median incomes.”

How can we even imagine building an innovative, creative, and knowledge-based economy when housing and transportation costs eat up so much of household income? It would be like trying to build a modern industrial economy, say in the 1930s or even 1950s, but having food (that is the cost for agricultural products) consume half of all income. When housing and transport eat up this much on average, what’s left over to create effective demand for the industries, technologies, and business models of the future?

Before we can get out of this mess, housing and transport have to become a whole lot cheaper.