Texas Cities Are Growing Up Population and Transit Multipost
The following population and transportation info was collected by by: Karl-Thomas Musselman for Burnt Orange Report.
With new numbers out from the U.S. Census Bureau (summer 2012) the last year’s population booms in Midland, Odessa, and Austin take 3 of the Top Ten fastest growing Metro Areas. Dallas-Fort Worth and Houston have added a quarter million people in a year. Harris, Dallas, Travis, and Tarrant Counties all make the top 10 counties in the country by largest numerical increase in population.
- Driverless car legislation (HB 2932) has been filed in Texas by Republican State Rep. Giovanni Capriglione, R-Southlake. I think this could ultimately be one of the most important bills filed in the legislature when taken in context of the impact it could have in coming decades, especially with as much as Texas spends on transportation. I’ll echo Kuffner’s sentiments.
I think Rep. Capriglione has the right approach here in not requiring someone to be in the car while it’s in operation. Letting truly driverless cars be on the streets is a requirement for enabling car-sharing and other innovative and potentially congestion-reducing uses for these vehicles. If nothing else, a nice thing about a driverless car is that you can basically valet park yourself anytime you want. Drop yourself off and let the car go find someplace to wait for you to call it back, like the Batmobile. But that only works if you don’t have to be in the car at the time. Under this bill, that’s a possibility.
The future could go a lot of different ways and I hope that we’ll write the law to keep a lot of them on the table. We’ve invested a huge sum of money and planning living around our cars in their current form. Changing our relationship with our vehicle from personal to shared may not be easy, but I think it’s appealing enough that the marketplace will answer the doubts some have. Plus, some ideas have the potential to dramatically alter our congestion patterns, and could end up saving taxpayers massive amounts of funds. We’ll see!
- Texas had the most minimum wage workers in 2012, accounting for 13% of all jobs of that category in the country.
DMN: Some 452,000 Texans – and nearly 3.6 million people nationwide – earned the federal minimum wage or less in 2012. Under the minimum wage, a person working 40 hours a week would make $15,080 a year.
- Do you care about Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) or is your city considering it (Austin)? Then maybe you should read the 2013 BRT Standard which outlines what the minimums cities in the US can verifiably call “BRT”. Here it is boiled down in a segment of this interview.
JG: What is your minimum standard for something to be called BRT?WH: It’s a fairly complicated formula but essentially it has to have a dedicated lane of at least four kilometers. If it’s on a two-way road, it has to run along the central median. If it’s a curb-running bus lane on a two-way street it’s pretty much ineligible. So there are a couple of baseline things, but there are a lot of details and nuances.
And then you need to score a certain minimum number of points on BRT basics, which means it has to have at least some of the following elements like off-board fare collection, certain treatments at intersections, and other things that we consider to be pretty much essential.
Needless to say, I don’t think what Austin is proposing as BRT would meet even one of the more minimal standards. Which is super annoying.
- What SXSW Can Tell Us About the Geography of Indie Music– you’ll have to click through and check out their graphic to see.
- What are the Top 8 Reasons that people quite riding public transit? You can find out the full list here. I hope policymakers note the frustrations about delays, you’ve probably run into one on the list if you ride public transit.
- What the Steamship and the Landline Can Tell Us About the Decline of the Private Car is a great read on The Atlantic Cities blog.
Sitting in the present, automobiles are so embedded in society that it’s hard to envision any future without them. But no technology – no matter how essential it seems in its own era – is ever permanent. Consider, just to borrow some examples from transportation history, the sailboat, the steamship, the canal system, the carriage, and the streetcar….
We’re not terribly well positioned right now to think about what this future will look like. Part of the challenge is that, culturally, we’re much more accustomed to celebrating new gadgets than thinking about how old technology decays.
“And people don’t have the perspective that extends beyond their own lives,” Cohen says. “They were born into a society and culture where cars were everywhere, and they can’t envision – with good reason – living their lives without a car.”
He worries that in the U.S., we’ve lost our “cultural capacity to envision alternative futures,” to envision the Futurama of the next century. More often, when we do picture the future, it looks either like a reproduced version of the present or like some apocalyptic landscape.
- A series of amendments hit the Planning Commission to expand and integrate bike parking requirements into city code. The creation of a Bike Parking Fund and expanding the cases where bike parking must at a minimum be required are all steps in the right direction.
- Stats from Cap Metro on the first half of SXSW’s impact on MetroRail were released as follows.
- Between March 8-12, there were approximately 20,000 trips taken on the MetroRail, which is about 7,000 more than there were during the same timeframe for SXSW 2012.
- Compared to 2012, ticket sales at MetroRail stations are up 37 percent.
- Capital Metro’s SXSW transit info webpage has received more than 12,000 unique page views, a figure that officials project will double by the end of the festival.