we still exist! spread the word!

TypePad, our host, has been undergoing Distributed Denial of Service attacks that have interrupted this blog and many others.  A particularly ghastly side-effect of these attacks is that all domain names using TypePad (such as are leading to an "Unknown Domain Name" error, giving the false impression that we're out of business.  TypePad writes on their blog:

While most blogs are available and the application is up, some mapped domains are showing a message that the domain is "unknown", but there is no problem with the domain itself. We're working to correct the error on our end.

For the record, we still exist, and our domain name hosting is current.  If anyone tells you we're out of business, please correct them!


meta: comments now require sign-in

This blog's comments have always been hugely valuable, and some magnificent conversations have occurred in comment strings.  I hate having to restrict them in any way (apart from the comment policy).  

Sadly, this blog is now experiencing a comment-spam attack, and the "captcha" tool for verifying commenters appears to be useless.  Our host, TypePad, can offer little assistance, and now and then makes things worse.

So two changes:

  • Comments have been closed on some older posts that were attracting heavy spam. 
  • As of now you will have to register via any of a range of online identities, including Twitter, Facebook, and so on to comment.

If that doesn't work, we will probably begin (with regret) closing comments on all but the most recent posts.

Please keep commenting!  Your comments have always been at least half the value of this blog.

agora, em português!


I wouldn't have expected this, but the first foreign language into which my work is being translated is Portuguese!  Not my book yet, but select passages from this blog will be showing up as a "column" of mine called "Transporte Humano" on Rua da
, which contains a mix of articles mostly on health, economics, and transport policy.  The editor, Gustavo M.S. Martins Coelho, is a medical doctor himself.  He is based in Oporto and writes mostly for a Portuguese audience, but I hope my "columns" will get attention in Brazil, where the issues are so massive and consequential for the world.


the new look at

 We're pleased to introduce the new "look" for Human Transit, including a more readable serif font (Georgia) and I hope a cleaner, more legible feel.  Big thanks to my associate Evan Landman for building and sculpting the design.

As with any change to a transit system, most comments are from existing users disoriented by change of any kind.  So: Calm down, everything you love is still here.  It's just moved around like this:

  • Most content that was in the right-hand columns of the old design is now in the new menu bar above.
  • The Links menu has subcategories, which will open to the right when you click on a menu item.
  • Categories referring to cities have now been separated from other categories.

One note: If you browse the category menu by just clicking and pulling your mouse down, the menu will seem to extend beyond the screen.  Instead, hold the menu by leaving your cursor on it, then use your arrow keys to move the scroll down in the window.   We're working on a better way to handle that.

Some older posts are likely to look messy for a while.  It will take Evan a few days to go through all 942 past posts and clean up anything that didn't translate cleanly.  Be patient and we'll get to them.

I'm sure I don't need to tell you to share your feedback, and any bugs, in the comments!  Please be constructive!

Here's one question that you can answer in comments.  Historically, this blog has used all-lower-case post titles, even for proper names.  Is this (a) a nicely distinguishing bit of "design" or (b) an irritating affectation or (c) you've never noticed or cared one way or the other.  Now everyone can make a one-letter comment!

catching up

I have every intention of returning to the major recent post driverless cars, which has a remarkably thoughtful comment thread, and to other deferred topics like the gondolas that are soon to liberate Austin.  Meanwhile, however, I have to make a living.  Consulting is always either slack or wildly-more-than-fulltime, and I'm now in one of the latter phases.  Please peruse the backlist, including the 2012 favorites.  There's something on this site that's as good as new.  




my most “liked” posts of 2012

For the New Year weekend, here are the most "liked" posts of 2012 based on the Facebook like button.  (The button was only added recently, and not everyone likes Facebook, so actual positive feelings toward these posts are probably much higher.)  Not surprisingly, they are mostly substantial posts with some long-term relevance.  Did you miss any of them?

But if enjoy philosophical conversation at all, the most fun post of the year is probably:

Happy New Year.

new “coming events” sidebar

Upcoming lectures are now in the far right column under my photo –>

Do you have a sponsoring organization that could handle the modest cost of bringing me to your city?  If so, click the email button (also under my photo) and let's talk!

australia / new zealand readers!

Cover thumbMy book may well be out in Australia/NZ even before it comes out in North America.  NewSouth Books, the book's Australia/NZ distributor, plans to print books in Sydney instead of waiting for them to make the long flight.  This saves carbon emissions while getting the books out faster, probably by mid-December at the latest.  They'll also be offering a 20% discount for Aus/NZ customers who order off their site.  You can pre-order now.  (It encourages them to print more!)

Here's New South's flyer promoting the book, which you're welcome to print, share with friends, and leave modestly lying about:  Download Human Transit flyer(2).

Back to usual programming soon!  (Finger is better, thanks.)


we have a date: “december 5 or so”

WalkerCover-r06 croppedI just signed off on the very, very last proofs of the book.  Island Press's copyeditor has advised me to expect books out by "about Dec 5 or so."

Have you read the introduction and table of contents?  If not, please have a look now.  I hope it will be clear that the book is unique in trying to make transit choices clear to the interested general reader, including elected officials, advocates, and professionals in related fields.

I will be based in Portland throughout Dec, Jan, Feb, Mar, but also have trips planned in that range to Auckland NZ, eastern Australia, Washington DC, Seattle, and possibly South Florida.  Other trips are possible depending on honoraria etc.  I'm obviously keen for opportunities to do public lectures sponsored by reasonably prominent organizations or institutions.  If you know one, please let them know.

And if you've already decided you're looking forward to reading it, why not preorder?  It's also on Amazon, and quite possibly your favorite book website.