Archive for the ‘Research’ Category

Driven Apart: How Sprawl Is Lengthening Our Commutes and Why Misleading Mobility Measures Are Making Things Worse

Thursday, September 30th, 2010

A new report from CEOs for Cities discusses how the Travel Time Index (a ratio of peak congested travel times to uncongested travel times along a roadway used in the Texas Transportation Institute’s Urban Mobility Report and a widely used measure to compare congestion between cities and support road expansion projects) is misleading as a mobility measure. The Driven Apart report looks at total peak travel time instead, and discusses both congestion and travel distance as the determining factors. As a result, shorter travel distances and the urban form enter the discussion of alleviating peak travel congestion.

Both the San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont and San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara metropolitan statistical areas show fewer hours of congested travel and rank better on the list of most-congested cities in the Driven Apart report compared to the Urban Mobility Report.

CEOs for Cities :: Our Work :: Driven Apart: How Sprawl Is Lengthening Our Commutes and Why Misleading Mobility Measures Are Making Things Worse. via The Other Side of the Tracks

Joint Use School Facilities Resources

Monday, September 20th, 2010

The Center for Cities and Schools has consolidated their reports and resources on community use of school facilities.

Center for Cities & Schools: Joint Use Schools Initiative: Partnerships and Environments for Student Sucess.

The Hollowing Out of America’s Middle Class

Tuesday, September 14th, 2010

Derek Thompson discusses some common themes related to education, income, and unemployment, but carries it further into a discussion of how that relates to occupational trends and shrinking middle-income jobs.

The Hollowing Out of America’s Middle Class – Derek Thompson – Business – The Atlantic.

Live longer and healthier by living near public transit

Monday, August 16th, 2010

New report – “Evaluating Public Transportation Health Benefits” – finds those living in communities with high-quality public transportation drive less, exercise more, live longer, and are generally healthier than those living in communities without public transit.  The report, a survey of current research, was conducted by Todd Litman of the Victoria Transport Policy Institute on behalf of American Public Transportation Association.


Silicon Valley becoming a hub of electric vehicles

Friday, June 25th, 2010

Investments in Green Transportation

Transportation was the leading cleantech sector for venture capital dollars in the first quarter of 2010, with 24 deals globally that totaled $729 million,according to data from the Cleantech Group in San Francisco. Leading the pack was Better Place, which raised $350 million, making it one of the largest cleantech investments in history.

And while the industry is still in its infancy, electric-car-related companies are adding jobs at a time when unemployment in Silicon Valley is at near-record highs.

Silicon Valley becoming a hub of electric vehicles – San Jose Mercury News.

Tech firms making S.F. new home

Monday, June 21st, 2010

The Chronicle discusses web-based firms looking for office space in the SOMA district of San Francisco.

As of June 15, 83 technology companies were in the market, seeking 1.5 million square feet of space, up 51 percent since the financial crash in fall 2008, according to brokerage firm Jones Lang LaSalle, which regularly tracks the market.

Tech firms making S.F. new home – San Francisco Chronicle.

National Academy of Sciences urges strong action to cut greenhouse gases

Thursday, May 20th, 2010

The panel recommended that the United States restrict its carbon emissions to a total of 170 to 200 billion tons of greenhouse gases during the period 2012 to 2050, which would represent as much as an 80% reduction of carbon compared to current projections.

“That’s a very challenging task,” Fri said. “At the current rate of 7 billion tons per year, we would use up the allotment well before 2050,” he said. Moreover, “even if all available and emerging technologies could be deployed to their fullest technical potential, it is clear we will still need new and additional emission reduction options.”

National Academy of Sciences urges strong action to cut greenhouse gases – latimes.com.

Back to the City

Friday, May 7th, 2010

Discussion in the Harvard Business Review about companies relocating to urban areas, responding to demographic shifts among boomers and younger workers.

Back to the City – Harvard Business Review , via ClimatePlan.

Designing Walkable Urban Thoroughfares

Tuesday, April 20th, 2010

The Institute for Transportation Engineers has released a report on context-sensitive design for walkable urban thoroughfares.

Designing Walkable Urban Thoroughfares: A Context Sensitive Approach, An ITE Recommended Practice.

via Jeff Wood, Reconnecting America.

San Francisco First City in the Nation to Count Its Parking Spaces

Friday, April 2nd, 2010

With new development, especially when taller buildings or new uses are being proposed, parking is often a point of contention. How many spaces are needed? How will future uses get to the building? What do the banks or future tenants require? Too much parking and you have wasted space and wasted cost, not to mention the impacts on urban design and sense of place. Too little parking, and you chase away customers or can’t sell units, and you make the neighbors unhappy.

But fear and rules of thumb, more than hard data, often drive this discussion. In an effort to change that, San Francisco has completed a survey of the public parking spaces in the city. And the data is available to download for general use.

The survey was conducted as part of the work of SFpark, a program to begin actively managing parking pricing to make public parking more-readily available and more-effectively utilized.

And what you really wanted to know – how many spaces are there in San Francisco?

The total number of spaces, as Mayor Gavin Newsom recently announced on his Youtube site, is 441,541. Of the total, over 280,000 are on-street spaces, 25,000 of which are metered. For just the on-street spaces, that is roughly the equivalent area of Golden Gate Park.

The non-metered on-street spaces were calculated with a survey sample of 20% of the city’s blocks. They are still working to count additional streets. Next up: a count of private garages.  According to Matthew Roth at Streetsblog, some estimate as many as 800,000 parking spaces in total in SF when private spaces are added to the mix.

Streetsblog San Francisco » San Francisco First City in the Nation to Count Its Parking Spaces.

Census Takers Count Homeless / San Francisco’s Parking Census: KQED Radio News | KQED Public Media for Northern CA.