There are six stories on the front page of Wapo today.

Every one of them is a human settlement pattern issue or has a human settlement pattern aspect and there is not one word about the human settlement patterns in any of the stories.

Let us start with “As Dulles Rail Staggers, Players Share in Blame.” Lots of talk about blame but not one word about how station-area settlement patterns would solve the “tunnel” issue or the “cost” issue. If there was a clear understanding of what is needed in the Dulles corridor (See “Rail to Dulles Realities,” 4 Jan 2004, “Rethinking METRO,” 18 Oct 2004 and “All Aboard,” 16 April 2007) then the Virginia Governor / Sec of Transportation, FTA and No-Bid Contract problems would be gone as well.

“METRO Blames Mechanical Failures” spotlights the need for system wide Balance between capacity and demand. With an understanding of this reality, demand would be down (due to station area Balance) and support would be up allowing for rational investment in infrastructure. See Backgrounder “Time to Fundamentally Rethink METRO” recent post “It Will Take More Than Lint.”

“Japan’s Warp-speed Ride to Internet Future” highlights “the last mile problem” that is a direct result of dysfunctional settlement patterns. While the Internet will not assure a sustainable trajectory for civilization, good access would help a lot. Instead of focusing on Japan, take a look at Sweden (nine times the average US of A speed) and Canada (four times the average US of A speed). Search for Shape of the Future use of the settlement patterns in both these nation-states as examples of how US of A settlement patterns could improve with a better understanding of what democracy and a free market require to flourish.

“Bush Wants $50 Billion More for the Iraq War” is another paving stone on the road to entropy that is the result of dependence on Large, Private vehicles for Mobility and Access. See our recent post “Three Questions Encore” and the “Whale on the Beach,” 28 August 2006 column and “The Problem With Cars,” coming soon.

The front page color picture adds another dimension to the settlement pattern issue: Opening the Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge a week early will help commuters. The only real assistance available for commuters is to help them become non-commuters by evolving functional human settlement patterns. (See Balance under METRO story above.)

How do the stories about the VA Tech shootings and the Elephant Clan senator from Idaho relate to human settlement patterns? Those who need to ask, have not been reading The Shape of the Future very carefully. We hope to make these connection more clear in TRILO-G.

Have a Nice Day.


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5 responses to “0 for 6”

  1. Anonymous Avatar

    Imagine how boring the Washington Post would be to read if its stories were gummed up with land use jargon such as the term “human settlement patterns.”

  2. Anonymous Avatar

    Having everyone live in the first mile is one way to solve the last mile problem.

  3. Anonymous Avatar

    “…how station-area settlement patterns would solve the “tunnel” issue or the “cost” issue. “

    HUH? Station area settlement patterns can’t solve the tunnel issue or the cost issue. Those issues are now, and it will take decades to re-align station area settlement patterns.

    Meanwhile the cost of the tunnel (which we are not building) will have gone up. Besides, the settlement patterns need to have a station area before the settlement patterns can evolve.

    It is a chicken and egg problem, and neither one can “solve” the other.

    If there was a clear understanding of what is needed in the Dulles corridor, we would leave Tysons out of the picture for now. We would extend the Orange line to Fair Oaks, Centreville and then up the 28 Corridor to Dulles, then we could loop around through Herndon and Reston and on into McClean, picking up a side connection to the (privately built) Tyson’s Circulator.

    The Tyson’s Circulator could be a good demonstration application for your PRT idea.

    But, even if we had a clear idea of what is needed, there would still be too many political cooks in the kitchen, each frying up their famaily or party recipe for pork cracklins, and each vying to be the “Head Chef”.

    The problem and the beauty of competition is that it is messy. However, it is far less likely to lead to one huge mstake than is monocracy.


  4. Anonymous Avatar

    You are going to have a hard time convincing me that station area balance has anything whatosever to do with demand on Metro,under present conditions. Of course, if you succeed in convincing me, then you will have proven my point that with sufficient balance, metro isn’t necessary at all.

    We’ll put offices where the metro and VRE stations are. Then instead of driving to the station to take the train to work, we’ll just drive to the station and be at work: no train necessary.


  5. Anonymous Avatar

    It is curious that EMR does not use western democracies as a source for model settlement patterns but rather nation states such as Sweden which are much more government centric than ours, with higher taxes and higher expectations of public support of the state definition of good. This issue has been raised before and will continue to be raised: planning as EMR seems to purport would seem to violate the fundamental rights of man as evolved in the Enlightenment and refined in the American constition.

    Do we want freedom or prettiness? Both would be ideal but under Risse rule, the latter might take precedence?

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