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    From the new Tesla to the rise of biking, take a look at how the year shook out in cars, cycling, motorcycles, and the quest for a cheap, non-polluting fuel source.

    Fast Company
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    ...The tech giants who pay for these services have tried to run them mostly under the radar, according to Marketplace, although neighborhood residents have complained nonetheless about their effect on traffic. That didn’t stop Eric Rodenbeck, creative director at a company called Stamen Design. He and his colleagues used a mixture of social media clues, bike messenger spies, and old-fashioned on-the-ground observation to map San Francisco's private bus routes... Rodenbeck estimates that the shuttles move some 14,000 people per day, about 35 percent of the ridership of the Caltrain commuter service. 

    Atlantic Cities
  • While neither Republicans nor Democrats seem thrilled with the results of the deal resolving the fiscal cliff, transit commuters scored an unexpected windfall.

    SF Examiner
  • Researchers from UC Berkeley and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have found that when it comes to traffic, some drivers are making you later than others. "This is a preliminary study that demonstrates that not all drivers are contributing uniformly to congestion," Alexandre Bayen, a Berkeley professor and coauthor, said in a statement. “Reaching out to everybody to change their time or mode of commute is thus not necessarily as efficient as reaching out to those in a particular geographic area who contribute most to bottlenecks.”

    Atlantic Cities
  • ... Earlier this month at The AtlanticMatthew O'Brien explained (via this 2008 Brookings report; PDF) just how much America stands to save with such a service. Driving would fall 8 percent nationally; oil usage and carbon emissions would drop 2 and 4 percent, respectively; fewer traffic and accidents could be worth upwards of $60 billion a year.

    Atlantic Cities
  • When Kevin Krizek, a planning and civil engineering professor at the University of Colorado, and his colleagues asked hundreds of people living in and around Minneapolis, Minnesota, to estimate the time it would take them to reach destinations like this—the closest coffee shop, convenience store, laundromat, bank, pharmacy, hardware store, bus stop, library, post office, book store and park— on foot, only about a third got the answers right. Turns out people are not very good at conceiving of the distances they walk with any accuracy. And the ways in which we get these distances wrong have a lot to do with where we live. 

    Atlantic Cities
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    In 2012, the electric car's critics were ready to write its obituary...But even as plug-in cars came under attack, their sales slowly grew. The numbers are still small, making up a tiny slice of the automotive market. But they rose steadily in 2012 as automakers introduced more models of electric cars and advanced hybrids.

    SF Chronicle
  • ...The money will help build, at long last, the rail transit project Inouye had advocated for. Inouye had referred to the $1.55 billion offered by the FTA as “precious.”...Hawaii’s first-ever rail transit system, already under construction, will include 21 stations along a 20-mile stretch and is expected to relieve traffic on Interstate H-1, “one of the most congested highways in America,” according to LaHood. 

    DC .Streetsblog.org
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     What makes a city great? According to Jeff Speck, the secret sauce is, quite simply, walking. If your city is a good place to walk — that is, walking is safe, comfortable, interesting, and useful — everything else will fall into place....If you’re a professional planner or advocate, Walkable City is a new, essential reference. If you’re new to the subject, there’s no better introduction.

  • Two weeks after safety advocates questioned the slow pace of The City’s pedestrian action plan, the mayor on Wednesday announced details of a proposal that’s being drafted...It calls for reducing speed limits on certain streets and making improvements to various intersections, along with using data to increase enforcement and education about particular danger zones, Lee said.

    SF Examiner