Dear Readers

I’ve been gone. Sorry about that.

After finishing up a tough second semester at Cornell University studying for a master’s in City and Regional Planning, I’m off to Manila, capital of the Philippines, for an internship with the country's Department of Transportation, so expect some dispatches from there.

On the upside, having a summer off means I’ll have more time to devote to Marin’s issues specifically, like the aftermath of the election (seriously, Citizen Marin/CVP/Marin Post? The best conservative you could find is Al Dugan?).

So what have been the big takeaways from my first year as a master’s student? First, that 11-foot wide lanes really are just fine for putting traffic through Sir Francis Drake Avenue. That a freeway, or a road, has the highest capacity at LOS D or E. That the only way to solve traffic congestion is with pricing.

That the Rawlsian ethical imperative for equity and a market urbanist philosophy actually can mix, and that the Bay Area is failing at both miserably.

I also found evidence, through a statistical analysis of Census data, that adding more homes to a given neighborhood allows it to hold onto its poor and middle-class populations better. So if you care about keeping gentrification at bay, you should build new homes, luxury and affordable alike.

And that one of the reasons the trains of the early 20th century aren’t really around anymore is because they were so damn slow, like less than 30mph slow, and the companies didn’t realize the point of transportation is transportation, not luxury.

Speaking of old trains, in between classes I finished up the Map of the Mid-Atlantic, a Cleveland frequent bus map, and started work on a Saint Louis of 1921 map.

I have a couple of papers to adapt to blog posts here, including that statistics analysis, and also some that I promised long ago that still have not been published. Given that on Thursday I’ll be flying for more than 19 hours, I will hopefully get some stuff done for once.

 - David