SCOTT SHAFFER's avatar

SCOTT SHAFFER

#mpls #minnstagramers #architecture #vscocam (at Minneapolis City Hall)

Look at what my friends can do!

Check out MNKINO, an excuse to make a short video and show it to people, and Composer Quest, a podcast about making songs. They’re both local, organic, and sustainable.

… and then I was like, “Oh yeah, the resolution on my lappy’s built-in camera is 640x480.”

… and then I was like, “Oh yeah, the resolution on my lappy’s built-in camera is 640x480.”

It’s legal for suburban teenagers to drive, so I have to share the road with these people.

:(

MPR’s headline: Minneapolis drivers see slight increase in congestion due to bike lanes

The original Fivethirtyeight headline: Bike Lanes Don’t Cause Traffic Jams If You’re Smart About Where You Build Them

You really shouldn’t conflate “congestion” and “street use.” If more people use a street without harming each other, that’s a good thing. Congestion only happens when the volume of traffic approaches the street’s capacity and the throughput declines. (Throughput is the number of things that move past a point in a channel per unit of time.)

There’s a really good part of Traffic by Tom Vanderbilt where he describes the throughput of a highway approaching rush hour. Before rush hour, cars are going 70mph, and they’re pretty spaced out. Throughput is 10,000 cars per hour. At the beginning of rush hour, it’s starting to get busy. The speed of traffic has declined to 50mph, but because traffic is denser, the throughput has actually increased to 12,000 cars per hour. At peak traffic, though, fender-benders and lane-changes have ripple effects that slow everyone down a lot. The speed has declined to 35mph and the throughput is just 8,000 cars per hour.

So from a holistic perspective, the optimal use of scarce road space is just after cars have to slow down a little, right before you reach capacity. That’s the sweet spot when you’re facilitating the most human activity with an expensive resource. Up until then, you’re just wasting money and space.

Interview blues

What’s my greatest weakness? Hm. Sometimes, when I don’t… UM, I like to have clear expectations and open communication with… Geez.

All right. You know what I’m actually the worst at? Sitting in a room telling strangers how great I am.

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mapsontheweb:

London’s protected views and their limits on skyscrapers

OK this is fascinating. I notice that with these protected views, the protection triangle extends past the object and prohibits development in the background. So it’s not just, “We need unobstructed views of St. Paul’s Cathedral from Alexandra PalaceKenwood House, Hampstead Heath, Primrose Hill, Hyde Park, and Richmond Park.” It’s “We need to be able to see St. Paul’s Cathedral from fancy places, and there shouldn’t be any Gherkins in the background.”

[O]ur real transportation problem… can be summarized in four words: Driving is too cheap. Drivers impose costs on society — in delay, in pollution, in carbon, in wear and tear on our roads — that they don’t pay for. As a result, many of us drive more than we otherwise would. Ending this underpriced driving — through higher fuel taxes, parking and congestion charges and insurance premiums based on miles driven — is a central challenge for local, state and federal transportation officials.

A bunch of urban planning professors wrote a thing for the Washington Post.