Author Archives: Christopher Winters

Some notes on the transportation geography of San José, Costa Rica

Costa Rica is in many ways one of the world’s most admirable countries. It gave up its army in 1949 and has been a democracy ever since, holding freely contested elections every four years. No other Latin American country has … Continue reading

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The Madrid Río project

I visited the parklands created by the Madrid Río project1 a couple of weeks ago. The area had still been under construction in 2010 when I was last in Madrid. The Madrid Río project is of course one of the world’s most famous … Continue reading

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Detroit’s new QLine streetcar

Most of the new, short, slow, and infrequently-running streetcar lines built in the United States in the last few years appear to have been constructed at least to some extent for reasons having little to do with any possible role as transportation facilities. Many seem … Continue reading

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Chicago loses—and gains—population

According to a report that the Census Bureau posted a couple of days ago, Chicago has been continuing to lose population. The city’s estimated population in 2016 was 2,704,958. In 2015 it had been 2,713,596. Chicago is the only city among … Continue reading

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Phoenix urbanizes itself

Among all of what today are the largest cities of the United States, Phoenix was very nearly the smallest in the middle of the 20th century1. In 1950 it had only 106,818 people—it was smaller than New Bedford!—and its metropolitan … Continue reading

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Waiting for traffic lights to change on the new Expo Line

When I was in Los Angeles three weeks ago, I naturally rode the new Expo Line between Santa Monica and downtown a couple of times. I can confirm that the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority has a hit on its … Continue reading

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Being a pedestrian in central Kuala Lumpur

I spent a few days in Kuala Lumpur last week. While travelling I was reading a terrific book, Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya : negotiating urban space in Malaysia1, by Ross King, a professorial fellow at Melbourne University. I had been in KL … Continue reading

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Why aren’t there more pedestrians and transit users in high-density Westwood?

An important article by Mark R. Stevens in the January 2017 issue of the Journal of the American Planning Association1 suggests that an increase in population density leads only to a modest decrease in automobile use. The article is based … Continue reading

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Fantasy transit in Chicago: a proposal

Building urban rail lines has always been expensive, and one of the consequences of this is that many more lines have been proposed than built. The shelves of Northwestern University’s excellent Transportation Library, for example, contain approximately 75 books or reports … Continue reading

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The “park connectors” of Singapore

Singapore is often described by urbanists as having gotten a great many things right. An explicit goal of Singapore’s planning is to have a “car-lite” society. Singapore’s government has taxed automobiles at a very high rate for many years. It also charges … Continue reading

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