In China’s High-Speed Successes, a Glimpse of American Difficulties [The TransportPolitic]
Some Americans may dismiss the Chinese achievement, suggesting that the system’s construction by a single-party government with authoritarian tendencies makes it in itself suspect. One of the great things about the American political system is that it attempts to respond to the demands of the citizenry. The defeat of several Democratic governors in last fall’s elections reflected on some degree of disenchantment with the Democratic Party in general, but in three cases – Florida, Ohio, and Wisconsin – the GOP’s open opposition to intercity rail projects there clearly played a role in convincing voters, who evidently agreed with the anti-rail sentiment, to throw out Democrats. In some ways, it is a reflection on a successful democracy that the rail projects in those places were cancelled, whatever their technical merit.
Check Out Minneapolis’ Bike Repair Vending Machines [Transportation Nation]
A small Minneapolis company is supporting cycling by making it easier to fix your bike while out on the road. Bike Fixtation has installed its first bike repair vending machine at Minneapolis’ Uptown Transit Station.
The self-service vending machine will be accessible, just like the transit station, from 6am-midnight every day of the year, ensuring an off-hours place to pick up an inner tube, patch kit, or even a headlight.
Segways Banned From Boston Sidewalks [AltTransport]
Quincy, Massachusetts: A New Redevelopment Paradigm [UrbanLand]
What’s unusual about the Quincy project is that the private sector is doing the heavy lifting|raising significant at-risk, predevelopment capital (Street-Works spent more than $18 million before it even had an agreement with the city), privately acquiring land (without eminent domain), and letting everyone know what it is doing. This is a reversal of the traditional urban development model, in which municipalities pay for public improvements before the private sector starts construction. Quincy envisions financing its infrastructure improvements through new income generated by development-specific revenue supplemented with parking garage revenues.