Talking Headways Podcast, Episode 4: Car Brain

In this week’s podcast, Jeff and I discuss the impressive turnout — and possible pitfalls — of London’s “die-in” demonstration for bike safety. We try to contain our envy (but not our amazement) at Paul Salopek’s seven-year walk tracing the path of Homo sapiens from the Rift Valley to Tierra del Fuego. And we discuss why even passionate transit advocates know what it means to be embarrassed about taking the bus.

Thanks to pressure from our loyal readers (and some extra hand-holding from Tim Halbur) we are now (almost) available on iTunes! Which is to say, iTunes has approved the podcast but it seems it’ll still be a day or two before it’s searchable. If you’ve been following us on Soundcloud, you might want to switch over. You can follow our new RSS feed here.

So please join us for our fourth episode — the Car Brain edition. As always, please join the conversation in the comments.

  • Speaking of podcasts, Freakonomics released an episode about how the 30,000 plus vehicle deaths a year in the U.S. will likely become a thing of the past when autonomous cars become mainstream.

  • Zach

    What is the song in the background at the opening and close? It’s been killing me.

  • Guest

    Mikael’s tweets regarding the protests were dumb. The level of cycling in London is completely unaffected by the amount of protests. The protests can lead politicians to take action, this is what famously happened in Copenhagen and The Netherlands in the 1970’s– people protested and the government responded. Mikael however believes that protests are an outdated way of getting things done. Let me tell you, cyclists making noise does get the politicians to respond, even today. In my community we got bike lanes because were were loud and making a fuss. We didn’t stage a die-in, but we did bring to consciousness that this was more about bikes, it was about improving quality of life and improving safety.

    Mikael has been pushing this idea that “marketing” can bring mass cycling. This is complete BS. It can influence cycling to a small degree but it has to be consistent (like police enforcing speed limits to compensate for streets that encourage speeding) otherwise it has no lasting impact. Mikael increasingly seems to be just an aging man that wants to stay edgy and trendy. He gets it right a lot of the time, but he refuses to admit wrong (like his made-up stats that 38k bicyclists travel on “the busiest bike street in the world” when the average is 28k and Norrebrogade is only the busiest bicycle street in copenhagen) and says a lot of offensive things for the sake of being offensive. He’s a great speaker, but the weight of his word is deteriorating with his ill thought out remarks.


Talking Headways Podcast: The Future of Street Lights

Clifton Lemon and Steve Lawton of LightPlace Advisors join me this week to talk about how lighting is going to change in cities with the advent of the LED. We learn about what fire and light means to humans and why the street light might become one of the most valuable assets a city has. Clifton […]

Talking Headways Podcast: Your Brain on Two Legs

Antonia Malchik’s recent piece in Aeon Magazine, The End of Walking, went viral in urbanist circles, touching on several themes related to our “right to walk.” In her turn on Talking Headways, Antonia talks about how she became addicted to walking and her experiences walking in Russia, Austria, Upstate New York, and the American West. We also discuss how our […]

Talking Headways Podcast With Special Guest Jan Gehl

Danish architect and urban planner Jan Gehl, who led Copenhagen’s turn away from car-domination toward streets and public spaces for people, is on a U.S. tour. I got to sit down with him this week in Washington. Where traffic engineers count cars, Gehl and his colleagues count people. So instead of telling city officials to […]

Talking Headways Podcast: Bikes of Ill Repute

Jeff Wood and I are back with episode 8 of the Talking Headways podcast. We talk about Los Angeles Metro’s decision not to extend light rail all the way to LAX (and what they’re doing instead), plus some analysis of what rail can really do in a city as spread-out as LA. Then we head […]

Talking Headways Podcast: California Über Alles

Welcome to our all-California, all-the-time episode of the Talking Headways podcast. We start with a statewide debate over whether $60,000+ Teslas should qualify for tax breaks — or whether any electric vehicles should get tax breaks. Then on to the conversation about how California’s cap-and-trade dollars should be spent. One proposal, from the State Senate leader, […]