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Talking Headways Podcast: Color Your City Outside the Lines

This week I’m joined by cartographer Gretchen Peterson to talk about mapmaking and her new book, City Maps: A Coloring Book for Adults. We discuss why she made the book and why she chose the 40 city maps she included in it.

Listen in and hear from Gretchen about the art of cartography, including the importance of color, fonts, good data, and whether you have to be a designer to make maps. We also get into why maps are important in reports, maps we might regret, as well as tips for future cartographers. Enjoy.

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Talking Headways Podcast: Ghosts of Motordom’s Past and Future

This week we’re doing something a little different with the podcast. It’s the morning plenary from last month’s Live.Ride.Share conference in Denver. You’ll hear Jill Locantore of WalkDenver introduce University of Virginia Professor Peter Norton, author of Fighting Traffic, who discusses how automobiles were sold to the public at the beginning of the motor age. Following Norton is Gabe Klein, former transportation director in Washington DC and Chicago, who talks about how cars are changing and what that means for streets and cities.

Norton starts at the 5-minute mark and Klein starts at 28:15, then questions from the audience and an open discussion come at 1:02:15.

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Talking Headways Podcast: Sharing (Your Bike, Car, Bus) Is Caring

This week we’re chatting with Sharon Feigon of the Shared Use Mobility Center. Bike-share, car-share, ride-hailing — we talk about all of that and then some, including how these new services may shape the built environment.

Sharon discusses what new research says about who’s using shared transport services and how even the “super sharer” still relies on transit as a base service. And she tells us about all the consolidation and investments by car companies and ride-hailing services, as well as new projects like an all-electric car-share program that will be launched in disadvantaged communities in Los Angeles.

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Talking Headways Podcast: A Better Measuring Stick for Transportation

Kevin DeGood of the Center for American Progress and Deron Lovaas of NRDC join the podcast this week to talk about rules proposed by U.S. DOT to measure congestion and greenhouse gas emissions. These rules matter because they’ll create new feedback loops for transportation agencies — the feds can create incentives to reduce car trips and carbon pollution if they choose. A draft released in April was not very encouraging, but the final rules could be much better.

Kevin starts us off with a look at the rulemaking process and why it matters. He helpfully explains the draft congestion measure, called “Annual Hours of Excessive Delay Per Capita,” which is quite a mouthful and, unfortunately, a car-centric way to go about measuring traffic. Kevin discusses possible alternatives to that metric, as well as the evolution of data gathering that enables better measurement of transportation projects in general.

In the second half of the show Deron discusses the options for measuring carbon emissions, whether from the tailpipe or the well head, and which states are already ahead of the curve in terms of addressing greenhouse gas emissions in transportation policy.

You can weigh in on the draft rules until August 20 — listen in and learn what’s at stake.

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Talking Headways Podcast: Moneyball for Transit

Laurel Paget-Seekins joins the podcast this week to talk about her days as a transit activist in Atlanta, what Santiago, Chile, taught her about transit networks, and her current work on data collection and dissemination as the director of strategic initiatives at the MBTA in Boston.

We discuss the MBTA’s data blog and dashboard, how the agency collects information, and the way it makes data available for people outside the agency to use it. Laurel is also the co-editor, along with Juan Carlos Munoz, of the recently published Restructuring Public Transport through Bus Rapid Transit. She shares her thoughts on BRT and its role in urban transportation networks.

It’s a can’t-miss episode for all you transit lovers out there.

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Talking Headways Episode 100: Moving Sidewalks With Tanya Snyder

Tanya Snyder returns to the podcast this week for a milestone: the 100th episode of Talking Headways. In addition to some reminiscing, we gaze into the future to assess Isaac Asimov’s dream of moving sidewalks. We also discuss the DC Metro and the maintenance problems that have led to talk of a looming shutdown. And in the third and final act we consider how moving to a new location can shape your transportation decisions.

So listen in as we pass the century mark this week on Talking Headways.

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Talking Headways Podcast: It Costs More to Drive Til You Qualify

The topic this week is housing affordability and transit, with guests Shima Hamidi, Reid Ewing, and John Renne. They discuss their recent paper in the journal Housing Policy Debate, “How Affordable is HUD Affordable Housing?” As it turns out, a lot of HUD rental assistance is spent in areas with high transportation costs. We talk about the impetus for the study and how they designed it.

So where should people live to keep their household transportation costs affordable? We explore that question and more, previewing upcoming research on transit-oriented parking standards, commercial rents near transit during the last recession, and tech innovation’s relationship to urban form.

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Talking Headways Podcast: A Shared Space Revolution

On the podcast this week is Robert Ping, executive director of the Walkable and Livable Communities Institute, who tells us about Pittsburgh’s plans for the largest shared space in an American city.

Robert also discusses why it’s so important to get public officials from different agencies in the same room together to talk about improving conditions for walking and biking. And we wonder why parents are being threatened with arrest just for walking their kids to school, and how getting driven around affects kids’ perceptions of where they live compared to walking.

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Talking Headways Podcast: The City Is a Painting You Walk Into

This week I’m joined by James Rojas of Place It! to talk about art in planning and Latino urbanism. James is an award-winning planner and a native Angeleno, and he tells us about how growing up in East LA and visiting his grandmother’s house shaped the way he thinks about urban spaces and design.

Tune in and hear James discuss the importance of plazas to Latino culture and the history behind them, how people understand place, and why the public planning process works better when you start by tapping into people’s childhoods rather than treating it purely as a problem solving exercise. Enjoy!

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Talking Headways Podcast: The Essential Link Between Transit and Land Use

Think land use is none of a transit agency’s business? Think again. Transit routes serving sprawled-out areas draw fewer riders and cost more to operate than routes serving compact, walkable development.

This week, Brian McMahon and GB Arrington join me to talk about our excellent new report, Linking Transit Agencies and Land Use Decision Making. This is a research report the three of us and a cadre of other researchers recently completed for the Transit Cooperative Research Program (part of the Transportation Research Board).

Even though transit agencies don’t usually control growth and development, land use matters to them, Brian says, and this report can help transit agencies make meaningful contributions to land use decisions. The report includes a tool that transit agencies can use to determine how they can step into the land use planning process and shape it to work well for transit, GB explains.

We talk about success stories from New Jersey Transit, Pace Bus, Cleveland (along the Euclid Avenue BRT), and Portland (the Pearl District), and how developers can be encouraged to build transit-supportive places instead of auto-oriented sprawl. Transit agencies can do this by setting expectations early on, before the planning process gets into the stage of developing individual sites, by which point mistakes are usually too late to change.