Popular Topics

Transportation & Urban Policy

August 24, 2015

Can Cars Use Half as Much Gas? - Kate Galbraith, Grist

One sunny Saturday in Stockton, Mary Serrano climbed into the driver’s seat of a bright-red, all-electric Chevrolet Spark. A retiree who normally drives a 20-year-old Toyota ...

August 13, 2015

What Will Become of America's Slums? - Alana Semuels, The Atlantic

Efforts to dismantle segregation may take resources away from some of the poorest communities, where investment is most needed....

August 10, 2015

Stench and the City: SF's Summer of Urine - Debra Saunders, SF Chronicle

As the city gets smellier and scarier, I wonder, how many suckers can one city find to pay that kind of money in a neighborhood so clearly on the edge?...

August 8, 2015

Compton, Revisited - Brentin Mock, CityLab

Rapper and producer Dr. Dre finally dropped his long-anticipated new album,Compton, which takes him back to his roots, the eponymous small city just south of Los Angeles. This is t...

August 7, 2015

Private and Profitable High Speed Rail - Jonathan Nelson, e21

As Americans head off for summer vacation, few plan to go by train. Travelling by train simply does not make sense for most people. But a private transportation company in Florida,...

August 6, 2015

Urban Buses Are Slowing Down - Daniel Hertz, City Observatory

Back in June, we catalogued how riders weren’t really abandoning buses—buses were abandoning their riders, with significant cuts to service in many metropolitan areas t...

Most Recent Articles

August 4, 2015

The Evisceration of the Urban Middle Class - Joel Kotkin, Daily Beast

Few people have had more influence on thinking about cities than the late Jane Jacobs....

August 3, 2015

Black Flight to the Suburbs - William H. Frey, Brookings Institution

While much attention is correctly given to alleviating the persisting segregation of blacks in many American cities, it is also important to recognize a newly emergent shift to the...

July 27, 2015

Highway Bills: Increasingly Irresponsible - Ben Ritz, BPC

The debate over federal highway spending has grown increasingly nonsensical as lawmakers again resort to irresponsible methods of making up the shortfall in the Highway Trust Fund....

July 25, 2015

The End of Suburban White Flight - William H. Frey, Brookings

As the nation’s white population ages and stagnates, the childbearing population is increasingly made up of minorities, who are increasingly drawn to the suburbs. In fact, whites...

July 21, 2015

HUD's War on Suburban America - Michael Barone, DC Examiner

Disparate impact. It's a legal doctrine that may be coming soon to your suburb (if you're part of the national majority living in suburbs)....

July 20, 2015

Keeping Rail Deregulation on Track - Jerry Ellig, RealClearPolicy

Thirty-five years ago, President Jimmy Carter signed the Staggers Rail Act, which largely deregulated freight railroads. Deregulation reduced rail rates for most shippers, restored...

July 20, 2015

LA's Tale of Two Cities - Aaron M. Renn, New Geography

It’s the best of times and the worst of times in Los Angeles....

July 18, 2015

Still Gridlocked After All These Years - Randal O'Toole, The Hill

July 14, 2015

The Destruction of a Black Suburb - Alana Semuels, The Atlantic

African Americans started coming to Cincinnati more than a century ago, fleeing the violence and economic constraints of the South for jobs and homes....

July 11, 2015

Countering Progressives' Assault on Suburbia - Joel Kotkin, RCP

The next culture war will not be about issues like gay marriage or abortion, but about something more fundamental: how Americans choose to live. In the crosshairs now will not be j...

June 25, 2015

Google Is Planning to Plan Your City - Susie Cagle, Pacific Standard

After years of mediating our digital lives, Google is formally venturing into the physical world....

June 22, 2015

Mad War to House the Poor in the Suburbs - Betsy McCaughey, NY Post

An African-American millionaire can buy a home in any expensive suburb. Color is no longer a barrier....

June 16, 2015

American Sprawl Peaked in 1994 - Eric Jaffe, CityLab

We tend to think of urban sprawl in America as a product of the Interstate Highway System built in the 1950s and 1960s. Metro area residents who might have been inclined to live ne...

June 15, 2015

The Antisuburbanist - Anthony Paletta, City Journal

The American political Left is now heavily associated with cities, but it wasn’t always so. Proto-Democrat Thomas Jefferson once claimed that the “mobs of great cities ...

June 13, 2015

Neighborhoods Become Less White - Matt Vasilogambros, National Journal

Segregation is nowhere close to being over, but neighborhoods across the country are steadily integrating....

June 12, 2015

Uncle Sam's Assault on the Suburbs - Jonathan Nelson, e21

If the House of Representatives has its way, the suburban way of life will be safe once again—for now....

June 10, 2015

How Big Is Your City's Middle Class? - Berube & Friedhoff, Brookings

Have American cities lost their middle class? The recent unrest in Baltimore caused some to (inaccurately) portray that city as overwhelmingly poor. Meanwhile, rising inequali...

June 5, 2015

The Importance of Passenger Rail - Kevin DeGood, CAP

Passenger rail is an essential element of America’s surface transportation system. The main provider of intercity passenger rail service is the National Railroad Passenger Co...

June 5, 2015

City Fees Keep Rising Instead of Taxes - Kriston Capps, CityLab

Between 2007 and 2012, through the Great Recession and into the recovery, fees on everything from hospitals and airports to schools and social services increased by more than 7 per...

June 5, 2015

The Best Cities For Jobs 2015 - Joel Kotkin & Michael Shires, Forbes

Since the U.S. economy imploded in 2008, there’s been a steady shift in leadership in job growth among our major metropolitan areas. In the earliest years, the cities that di...

June 3, 2015

Oregon's Flawed Per-Mile Tax - Carl Davis, Citizens for Tax Justice

On July 1, up to 5,000 Oregon residents can sign up for a program that indefinitely exempts them from the state’s gasoline tax.  Instead, these drivers will pay a flat 1...

June 2, 2015

Let Motorcycles Ride Between Cars - Alex Davies, Wired

EVERY CALIFORNIA DRIVER’S seen it: While you’re sitting in your car on the freeway, creeping through traffic, one motorcyclist after another zips by, riding betwee...

May 26, 2015

Who Benefits From Others' Transit Use? - David Levinson, New Geography

In the May 11 issue of Finance and Commerce, Matt Kramer, a local Chamber of Commerce representative lobbying for additional public transit and transportation spendi...

May 23, 2015

Suburban Sprawl Hurts the Poor - Joseph Stromberg, Vox

Back in February, the Detroit Free Press detailed the plight of James Robertson, a 56-year-old Detroit man who worked at a suburban injection mold factory. He rode b...

May 22, 2015

How Suburban Are Big Cities? - Jed Kolko, FiveThirtyEight

What, exactly, is a city? Technically, cities are legal designations that, under state laws, have specific public powers and functions. But many of the largest American cities &mda...

May 18, 2015

Bad Public Transit Encourages Inequality - Gillian B. White, The Atlantic

Transportation is about more than just moving people from point A to point B. It’s also a system that can either limit or expand the opportunities available to people based o...

May 18, 2015

Amtrak Needs Privatization, Not More Money - Jeffrey Dorfman, RCM

Last week witnessed a tragic train derailment on the Amtrak line that connects major East Coast cities. While the exact cause of the accident is not known yet, within two days libe...

May 15, 2015

The Road to Sustainable Highway Spending - CRFB

The current legislation authorizing highway and mass transit spending is scheduled toexpire at the end of May, and only a fewmonths later the Highway Trust Fund willrun out of rese...

May 15, 2015

Highways Gutted American Cities - Joseph Stromberg, Vox

There was once a time when most Americans took streetcars to work every day. Nowadays,85 percent of workers drive....

May 15, 2015

Payout to Amtrak Victims Will Be Limited - Chris Isidore, CNN Money

No matter how deadly this week's Amtrak crash proves to be, the railroad's legal exposure is capped at $200 million....

May 14, 2015

The Safest, Smartest Train - Daniel C. Vock, Governing

Long after most of its customers have gone home, Metrolink, the Los Angeles area’s commuter rail line, sends one of its passenger trains out into the night on a lonely m...

May 13, 2015

Improving Airport Funding - Alan Cole, Tax Foundation

Commercial air travel is a critically important sector of any advanced economy. This is especially true for a country as large as the United States, where some domestic travel can ...

May 13, 2015

Building the Cities of the Future - Janette Sadik-Khan, Huffington Post

Talk to any proud city resident and they'll tell you their town is like no other place on earth. Its food, weather, parks, architecture, place in history, politics and entertainmen...

May 12, 2015

Key Facts About Transportation Infrastructure - Kearney et al., Brookings

A founding principle of The Hamilton Project’s economic strategy is that long-term prosperity is best achieved by fostering economic growth and broad participation in that gr...

May 11, 2015

Paying for Rail Transit - Randal O'Toole, The Antiplanner

Last week, San Antonio voters overwhelming approved of a measure forbidding the city's transit agency from building any rail transit lines without voter approval. While t...

May 6, 2015

Smart Traffic Lights Can Transform a Commute - Josh Sanburn, Time

The traffic signals along Factoria Boulevard in Bellevue, Wash., generally don’t flash the same stretch of green twice in a row, especially at rush hour. At 9:30 a.m., the fu...

May 2, 2015

More Diverse Cities Are More Segregated - Nate Silver, FiveThirtyEight

When I was a freshman at the University of Chicago in 1996, I heard the same thing again and again: Do not leave the boundaries of Hyde Park. Do not go north of 47th Street. D...

April 29, 2015

Rise of the Fragmented City - Richard Florida, CityLab

From the moment I began studying urbanism, I’ve heard urbanists, economists and city officials lament the so-called “fragmentation” of city government. The basic ...

April 28, 2015

Would the Purple Line Be Good for Maryland? - Diana Furchtgott-Roth, e21

A new study by Transportation Economics and Management Systems (TEMS) purports to show that Maryland would gain by building the Purple Line, a 16-mile light rail project just nor...

April 25, 2015

Investing Stock in Distressed Cities - Liz Farmer, Governing

There is a lot that’s different between the agriculturally based Fresno, Calif., and the business and services-driven San Francisco less than 200 miles away. But perhaps the ...

April 24, 2015

What's the Perfect Size for a City? - Aaron M. Renn, The Guardian

The death of Michael Brown, shot by a police officer last year in Ferguson, Missouri, triggered civil unrest and protests that have yet to subside, withtwo police officers recently...

May 3, 2013

Pressured by Congress, States Picking Up Amtrak Subsidies

May 1, 2013

Obama Knocks Republicans Over Poor U.S. Airport Rankings

April 30, 2013


April 30, 2013

Obama Announces Charlotte Mayor Fox as Transportation Pick

March 1, 2013

Amtrak: Record Traffic in 2012

February 25, 2013

Virginia GOP Governor Raises Taxes for Transportation Plans

February 20, 2013

Congress Looks for Road Funds

February 13, 2013

Ray LaHood Defends Obama's Passenger Rail Plans