Monthly Archives: January 2011

Emergency Evacuation as a Smoke Screen

By Dom Nozzi

At times, we are told that a road must be widened to provide for “emergency evacuation” in the event that a large number of people must be evacuated by car due to a hurricane, flood, nuclear war, etc.

But beware. In some cases, such an argument is a smoke screen.

When it comes to issues pertaining to evacuation plans, communities need to be on guard against people who have a hidden agenda; people who want to widen roads to promote sprawl and high-speed car travel, and who use “emergency evacuation” as a scare tactic.

By mentioning evacuation, the road widening lobby can achieve the “moral high ground.” Who, after all, could be opposed to evacuating the population if there is an emergency? (often, though, the hidden agenda, is to widen the road to promote sprawl, suburban real estate, and happy cars).

Of course, in most cases, there is no hidden agenda. Instead, well-intentioned people sincerely believe that a road widening is necessary to allow adequate evacuation. But the unintended consequence, as we have come to learn, is that the widened road becomes an unstoppable engine for strip commercial, car-happy sprawl.

The result is the same.

Whether there is a hidden agenda to promote sprawl or well-intentioned public safety advocacy, the community will be spending large sums of public dollars to create an unstoppable catalyst for more sprawl.

What can be done to avert this smoke screen? Or this unintended consequence?

Most importantly, the community needs to establish a maximum size for its roads. (For example, establishing a policy that states that the community shall never build a road larger than 4 lanes.) Because big roads are very harmful to the quality of life (and sustainability) of a community, the community should decide that, say, 4-lane roads are the maximum size roads that will ever be built in the community. The maximum is a tool chosen by the community to protect its quality of life. That then becomes the “level of service standard” that the community adopts in its growth management plan.

The 4-lane maximum road then becomes a limiting factor for population growth in the community. The community would then have the leverage to say to a proposed new residential development: “I’m sorry, but our adopted plan does not allow you to build here. If you build here, there will be ‘X’ number of new car trips that will need to be evacuated in the event of an emergency. Unfortunately for you, our evacuation plan states that we must be able to evacuate our community in ‘Y’ minutes. If the new car trips from your proposed project were added to our 4-lane roads, we would not be able to evacuate fast enough. Since our plan clearly states that we will not exceed 4 lanes on our roads, we cannot approve your project.”

The 4-lane road becomes a much-needed “line in the sand” for protecting quality of life.

_________________________________________________

Visit my urban design website read more about what I have to say on those topics. You can also schedule me to give a speech in your community about transportation and congestion, land use development and sprawl, and improving quality of life.

Visit: www.walkablestreets.wordpress.com

Or email me at: dom[AT]walkablestreets.com

50 Years Memoir CoverMy memoir can be purchased here: Paperback = http://goo.gl/9S2Uab Hardcover =  http://goo.gl/S5ldyF

My book, The Car is the Enemy of the City (WalkableStreets, 2010), can be purchased here: http://www.lulu.com/product/paperback/the-car-is-the-enemy-of-the-city/10905607Car is the Enemy book cover

My book, Road to Ruin, can be purchased here:

http://www.amazon.com/Road-Ruin-Introduction-Sprawl-Cure/dp/0275981290

My Adventures blog

http://domnozziadventures.wordpress.com/

Run for Your Life! Dom’s Dangerous Opinions blog

http://domdangerous.wordpress.com/

My Town & Transportation Planning website

http://walkablestreets.wordpress.com/

My Plan B blog

https://domz60.wordpress.com/

My Facebook profile

http://www.facebook.com/dom.nozzi

My YouTube video library

http://www.youtube.com/user/dnozzi

My Picasa Photo library

https://picasaweb.google.com/105049746337657914534

My Author spotlight

http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/domatwalkablestreetsdotcom

 

 

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Filed under Economics, Politics, Sprawl, Suburbia

Dom Nozzi’s All-Time Favorite Planning and Transportation Books

By Dom Nozzi

I have read over 1,000 books in my life.

Here are my all-time favorites in the fields of transportation and planning, in alphabetical order of author name. The most important or influential books I have ever read in my profession.

The most important books are The High Cost of Free Parking, Cities and Automobile Dependence, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, and The Great Good Place.

Do yourself a favor and read some (or all) of these.

Arnold, Henry F. (1993). Trees in Urban Design, 2nd Edition.

Belmont, Steve (2002). Cities in Full

Daly, Herman (ed) (1973). Toward a Steady-State Economy

Downs, Anthony (1992). Stuck in Traffic

Duany, Andres, Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, Jeff Speck (2000). Suburban Nation

Durning, Alan (1996). The Car and the City

Harris, Marvin (1968).         The Rise of Anthropological Theory

Harris, Marvin (1979). Cultural Materialism

Jacobs, Jane (1961). The Death and Life of Great American Cities

Kuhn, Thomas         (1962). The Structure of Scientific Revolutions

Kunstler, James Howard (1998). Home from Nowhere

Levine, Jonathan (2006). Zoned Out: Regulations, Markets in Transportation and Metropolitan Land Use

Lomborg, Bjorn (2001). The Skeptical Environmentalist

Meadows, Donnella & Denis (1972). The Limits to Growth

Miller, G. Tyler         (1979). Living in the Environment

Newman, Paul & Jeffrey Kenworthy (1989). Cities and Automobile Dependence

Norton, Peter (2008). Fighting Traffic

Oldenburg, Ray (1991). The Great Good Place

Ophuls, William (1977). Ecology & the Politics of Scarcity

Orlov, Dmitry (2008). Reinventing Collapse

Orwell, George (1949). 1984

Owen, David (2009). Green Metropolis

Putnam, Robert (2000). Bowling Alone

Sale, Kirkpatrick (1980). Human Scale

Shoup, Donald         (2005). The High Cost of Free Parking

_________________________________________________

Visit my urban design website read more about what I have to say on those topics. You can also schedule me to give a speech in your community about transportation and congestion, land use development and sprawl, and improving quality of life.

Visit: www.walkablestreets.wordpress.com

Or email me at: dom[AT]walkablestreets.com

50 Years Memoir CoverMy memoir can be purchased here: Paperback = http://goo.gl/9S2Uab Hardcover =  http://goo.gl/S5ldyF

My book, The Car is the Enemy of the City (WalkableStreets, 2010), can be purchased here: http://www.lulu.com/product/paperback/the-car-is-the-enemy-of-the-city/10905607Car is the Enemy book cover

My book, Road to Ruin, can be purchased here:

http://www.amazon.com/Road-Ruin-Introduction-Sprawl-Cure/dp/0275981290

My Adventures blog

http://domnozziadventures.wordpress.com/

Run for Your Life! Dom’s Dangerous Opinions blog

http://domdangerous.wordpress.com/

My Town & Transportation Planning website

http://walkablestreets.wordpress.com/

My Plan B blog

https://domz60.wordpress.com/

My Facebook profile

http://www.facebook.com/dom.nozzi

My YouTube video library

http://www.youtube.com/user/dnozzi

My Picasa Photo library

https://picasaweb.google.com/105049746337657914534

My Author spotlight

http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/domatwalkablestreetsdotcom

 

 

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Filed under Bicycling, Economics, Energy, Environment, Politics, Road Diet, Sprawl, Suburbia, Urban Design, Walking

Books Dom Read in 2010 and His Recommended Readings

By Dom Nozzi

I have always been an obsessive list-maker, as most of my friends have been amused to learn. I make lists of nearly everything. One of the lists I started making about 30 years ago, that I have since updated and maintained each year, is a list of books I’ve read. By doing so, I know such things as the book title of each book I’ve read, the book author, what month and year I read the book, and the overall number of books I own and have read over the years. My book list informs me that I have reached a book-reading milestone this year. As of the end of 2010, I have read over 1,000 books in my life. Here is the list of the 65 books I read in 2010. Note that a single asterisk indicates that I found the book to be excellent. One that I highly recommend. Two asterisks indicate that the book was one of the best, most important books I have ever read. Don’t miss it! Bacevich, A (2010). Washington Rules: America’s Path to Permanent War* Chomsky, Noam (2010).  Hopes and Prospects * Epstein, Greg (2005). Good Without God: What a Billion Nonreligious People Do Believe Fenton, Tom (2009). Junk News: The Failure of the Media in the 21st Century Flynn, Tom (1993). The Trouble With Christmas * Goleman, Daniel (2009). Ecological Intelligence: How Knowing the Impacts of What We Buy Can Change Everything Lutz, Catherine & Anne (2010). Carjacked: The Culture of the Auto & It’s Effects on Our Lives Park, Robert (2000). Voodoo Science: The Road from Foolishness to Fraud Rogers, Heather (2010).  Green Gone Wrong: Can Capitalism Save the Planet? Wills, Garry (2010). Bomb Power: The Modern Presidency and the National Security State * Wise, Jeff (2009). Extreme Fear: The Science of Your Mind in Danger Chomsky, Noam (2007). Interventions Johnson, Steven (2010). Where Good Ideas Come From * Lih, Andrew (2009). The Wikipedia Revolution Onfray, Michel (2005). Atheist Manifesto: The Case Against Christianity, Judaism and Islam Schiff, Peter (2009). Crash Proof 2.0: How to Profit from the Economic Collapse Stilgoe, John R. (2007). Train Time: Railroads and the Imminent Reshaping of the American Landscape Sullivan, James (2010). Seven Dirty Words: Life & Crimes of George Carlin Taber, Robert (2002). War of the Flea: Guerilla Warfare * Agin, Dan (2006). Junk Science: How Politicians, Corporations and Other Hucksters Betray Us Ellsberg, D (2002). Secrets: A Memoir of Vietnam & the Pentagon Papers ** McCommons, James (2009). Waiting on a Train : The Embattled Future of Passenger Rail Service Prochnik, George (2010) In Pursuit of Silence: Listening for Meaning in a World of Noise Carlin, George (2009). Last Words Fox, S, Armentano, P, Tvert, M. (2009). Marijuana Is Safer: So Why Are We Driving People to Drink? * Roselle, Mike (2009). Tree Spiker: From Earth First! To Lowbagging. My Struggles with Environmental Radicalism Berkun, Scott (2010). Confessions of a Public Speaker Carr, Nicholas (2010). The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains * Elder, Robert K.(2010). Last Words of the Executed Gray, James (2001). Why Our Drug Laws Have Failed and What We Can Do About It * Robbins, John (2010). The New Good Life: Living Better Than Ever in an Age of Less Wurman, Richard Saul (1989). Information Anxiety: What to Do When Information Doesn’t Tell You What You Need to Know Frazier, Kendrick (ed) (2009). Science Under Siege: Defending Science, Exposing Pseudoscience Kirkpatrick, David (2010). The Facebook Effect: The Inside Story of the Company that is Connecting the World Lovenheim, Peter (2010). In the Neighborhood: Searching for Community One Sleepover at a Time Viega, John (2009). The Myths of Security: What the Computer Security Industry Doesn’t Want You to Know Hewitt, Ben (2009). The Town that Food Saved: One Town Sows Seeds of Change Levitt, Steven D. & Stephen Dubner (2009). Super Freakeonomics Lewis, Michael (2010). The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine Parker-Pope, Tara (2010). For Better: The Science of a Good Marriage Pollan, Michael (2009). Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual * Pollan, Michael (2001). The Botany of Desire: A Plant’s Eye View of the World Slone, Daniel & Doris Goldstein (2008). A Legal Guide to Urban and Sustainable Development Duany, Andres, Jeff Speck, Mike Lydon (2010). The Smart Growth Manual Handler, Chelsea (2005). My Horizontal Life: A Collection of One-Night Stands Krier, Leon (2009). The Architecture of Community Lomborg, Bjorn (2007). Cool It: The Skeptical Environmentalist’s Guide to Global Warming * Millais, Malcolm (2009). Exploding the Myths of Modern Architecture Semes, Steven (2009). The Future of the Past: A Conservation Ethic for Architecture, Urbanism and Historic Preservation Brockman, John (2007). What Is Your Dangerous Idea: Today’s Leading Thinkers on the Unthinkable Ehrenreich, Barbara (2009). Bright-Sided: How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America Gladwell, Malcolm (2005). Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking Lehrer, Johah (2009). How We Decide Anonymous (2004). Imperial Hubris: Why the West is Losing the War on Terror Bishop, Bill (2008). The Big Sort: Why the Clustering of Like-Minded America Is Tearing Us Apart Stenger, Victor (2007). God: The Failed Hypothesis * Venturi, Robert (1972).  Learning from Las Vegas: The Forgotten Symbolism of Architectural Form Zinn, Howard (2003). A People’s History of the United States * Brand, Stewart (2009). Whole Earth Discipline: An Ecopragmatist Manifesto * Byrne, David (2009). Bicycle Diaries Freeman, John (2009). The Tyranny of Email: The Four-Thousand-Year Journey to Your In Box Rubin, Jeff (2009). Why Your World is About to Get a Whole Lot Smaller: Oil & the End of Globalization  * Sniegnoski, Stephen (2008). The Transparent Cabal: The Neoconservative Agenda, War in the Middle East, and the National Interest of Israel ** Sperling, Daniel & Deborah Gordon (2009). Two Billion Cars: Driving Towards Sustainability Winik, Jay (2001). April 1865: The Month that Saved America                  _________________________________________________ Visit my urban design website read more about what I have to say on those topics. You can also schedule me to give a speech in your community about transportation and congestion, land use development and sprawl, and improving quality of life. Visit: www.walkablestreets.wordpress.com Or email me at: dom[AT]walkablestreets.com 50 Years Memoir CoverMy memoir can be purchased here: Paperback = http://goo.gl/9S2Uab Hardcover =  http://goo.gl/S5ldyF My book, The Car is the Enemy of the City (WalkableStreets, 2010), can be purchased here: http://www.lulu.com/product/paperback/the-car-is-the-enemy-of-the-city/10905607Car is the Enemy book cover My book, Road to Ruin, can be purchased here: http://www.amazon.com/Road-Ruin-Introduction-Sprawl-Cure/dp/0275981290 My Adventures blog http://domnozziadventures.wordpress.com/ Run for Your Life! Dom’s Dangerous Opinions blog http://domdangerous.wordpress.com/ My Town & Transportation Planning website http://walkablestreets.wordpress.com/ My Plan B blog https://domz60.wordpress.com/ My Facebook profile http://www.facebook.com/dom.nozzi My YouTube video library http://www.youtube.com/user/dnozzi My Picasa Photo library https://picasaweb.google.com/105049746337657914534 My Author spotlight http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/domatwalkablestreetsdotcom

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Filed under Bicycling, Economics, Environment, Miscellaneous, Peak Oil, Politics, Road Diet, Sprawl, Suburbia, Urban Design, Walking